Research International has published a special issue dedicated to the impacts of climate change on food safety. The collection of research examined issues such as pesticide use, parasite transmission, mycotoxin production on tomatoes, paralytic shellfish poisoning, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and the relationship between flooding and leafy greens contamination. The issue was edited by researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Ghent University in Belgium and includes several papers from the Veg-i-Trade research project financed by the European Union. A preliminary study into toxic substances from fungi showed that there could be an increased risk of contamination of tomatoes at the end of the 21st century in Poland, but that increased temperatures in Spain will lower the risk of contamination there. Another study showed that flooding in a lettuce field may result in increased concentrations of harmful bacteria that can be quickly broken down again by UV light. And future climate scenarios could cause shellfish poisoning outbreaks to occur during earlier months of the year. The editors state that these are the first studies of climate change and food safety, and they argue for support of expanded research.

  • pawpaw

    Thanks for posting these articles, and noting that UV light on crops kills pathogens. If I recall correctly; FDA proposals for FMSA:

    That sunlight indeed effectively kills pathogens on leaf surfaces, pathogens from irrigation water. So when duly-tested irrigation water contains pathogens, what is the minimum time between irrigation and harvest, for an appropriate log reduction? We need science based answers to inform any regs on this.

    Glad FSN is noting research on irrigation with treated wastewater, on safe uses thereof. Water is limited moving forward; potable water much more so. Some consider it quite shortsighted, our rate of drilling and pumping in California for irrigation, esp. from wells of drinking water quality.

    • Adamu

      Besides UV treatment to reduce food microbial food contamination.
      Current trend has put the application of bacteriophage into perspective.
      This approach is non toxic, safe and practicable.