Is climate change making food less safe to eat?

crops in field

A new report from the Public Health Agency of Canada says climate change could mean more frequent outbreaks of food-borne illnesses. Changes in air temperature, water temperature and rain patterns can all have an impact on the safety of our food.

“Rising water temperature, for example, has been associated with shell-fish related illnesses” says Lawrence Goodridge, professor at the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety at the University of Guelph. Vibrio, a bacteria found in seafood, grows better in warmer temperatures.

Stronger and more frequent storms may contribute to food-borne illnesses by allowing contaminated water runoff to be in contact with crops. For example, rain and dust storms in Australia led to a listeria outbreak in cantaloupes that killed 7 people.

View the Report
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