Climate change and emerging food safety issues

The study: Climate Change and Emerging Food Safety Issues: A Review, published on the Journal of food protection makes an interesting retrospective on the issue

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Climate change and emerging food safety issues

In the study of climate change it is necessary to consider issues pertinent to the most diverse scientific fields, therefore with typical interdisciplinary characteristics: meteorology, physics, oceanography, chemistry, astronomy, geography, geology and biology include many aspects related to this problem, which can therefore be considered exquisitely multidisciplinary.

In general, in the study of climate change, two distinct phases are highlighted: the detection of the climate change, generally referring to the statistical analysis of historical series of atmospheric data which therefore constitute the experimental evidence, and the attribution of the causes of this change, on the basis of targeted studies, which can therefore be natural and / or anthropogenic.

Based on these studies, a natural cause is highlighted up to the last century but, starting from the middle of the twentieth century, the scientific community considers them due to the action of man, in the form of alteration of the greenhouse effect.

The consequences on the understanding or not of the problems related to climate change have profound influences on human society, which must also deal with them from an economic and political point of view. The study: Climate Change and Emerging Food Safety Issues: A Review, published on the Journal of food protection, said: "Throughout the past decades, climate change has been one of the most complex global issues.

Characterized by worldwide alterations in weather patterns, along with a concomitant increase in the temperature of the Earth, climate change will undoubtedly have significant effects on food security and food safety. Climate change engenders climate variability: significant variations in weather variables and their frequency.

Both climate variability and climate change are thought to threaten the safety of the food supply chain through different pathways. One such pathway is the ability to exacerbate foodborne diseases by influencing the occurrence, persistence, virulence and, in some cases, toxicity of certain groups of disease-causing microorganisms.

Food safety can also be compromised by various chemical hazards, such as pesticides, mycotoxins, and heavy metals ges in weather patterns, such as lower rainfall, higher air temperature, and higher frequency of extreme weather events among others, this translates to emerging food safety concerns.

These include the shortage of safe water for irrigation of agricultural produce, greater use of pesticides due to pest resistance, increased difficulty in achieving a well-controlled cold chain resulting in temperature abuse, or the occurrence of flash floods, which cause runoff of chemical contaminants in natural water courses.

Together, these can result in foodborne infection, intoxication, antimicrobial resistance, and long-term bioaccumulation of chemicals and heavy metals in the human body. Furthermore, severe climate variability can result in extreme weather events and natural calamities, which directly or indirectly impair food safety.

This review discusses the causes and impacts of climate change and variability on existing and emerging food safety risks and also considers mitigation and adaptation strategies to address the global warming and climate change problem. "