chapter  18
22 Pages

Impact of Climate Change on Food Safety

ByH. R. Naik, S. Sheraz Mahdi

Abstract ................................................................................................. 328 18.1 Introduction .................................................................................. 329 18.2 Effect of Climate Change on Zoonotic Disease ........................... 333 18.3 Effect of Temperature on Fruits/Vegetables ................................. 337 18.4 Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms ............................................... 340 18.5 Environmental Contaminants and Chemical Residues in

the Food Chain ............................................................................. 342 18.6 Addressing Food Safety Implications of Climate Change ........... 345 18.7 Summary and Conclusions .......................................................... 345 Keywords .............................................................................................. 346 References ............................................................................................. 346

ABSTRACT

Climate change and variability in environment may have impact on occurrence of food safety hazards at different stages of food chain. There are multiple pathways through which climate related factors mayimpact food safety including: change in temperature and precipitation patterns, increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, ocean warming and acidification and changes in contaminants, green house effects. Climate change may also affect socioeconomic aspects related to food systems such as agriculture, animal production, global trade, and post harvest quality and human behavior which ultimately influence food safety. Temperature increase and the effects of greenhouse gases are among the most important issues associated with climate change. A rise in temperature will increase the risk of food poisoning and food spoilage unless the cold-chain is extended and improved. The little data that is available suggests that currently the cold-chain accounts for approximately 1% of CO2 production in the world; however this is likely to increase if global temperature increases significantly. Using the most energy efficient refrigeration technologies would be possible to substantially extend and improve the cold-chain without any increase in CO2, and possibly even a decrease. Studies have shown that the production and quality of fresh fruit and vegetable crops can be directly and indirectly affected by high temperatures and exposure to elevated levels of carbon dioxide and ozone. Temperature increase affects photosynthesis directly, causing alterations in sugars, organic acids, and flavonoids contents, firmness and antioxidant activity. Carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere has direct effects on postharvest quality causing tuber malformation, occurrence of common scab, and changes in reducing sugars contents on potatoes. High concentrations of atmospheric ozone can potentially cause reduction in the photosynthetic process, growth and biomass accumulation. Ozone-enriched atmospheres increased vitamin C content and decreased emissions of volatile esters on strawberries. Tomatoes exposed to ozone concentrations ranging from 0.005 to 1.0 micro mol/mol had a transient increase in b-carotene, lutein and lycopene contents. Production of harmful algal blooms affecting fish production and poisoning thereof is not a debatable subject now

18.1 INTRODUCTION

Assuring food safety is a complex task. Food safety hazards can arise at any stage of the food chain from primary production through to consumption. Foods are governed by food laws and regulations, which are collectively known as the food control system. The ultimate goal of this system is to ensure that food presented to consumers is safe and honestly presented. It is in the interest of all stakeholders to optimize the efficiency of the system in order to make the best possible public health impact with limited resources available. Major principles that underlie strategies for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of food control are:

‡ that efforts are focused on issues that pose the greatest risk; ‡ that the responsibility for producing safe food rest unambiguously

with the food businesses who are best placed to design and implement controls at the most appropriate point within the food production systems to preventor minimize food safety risks;

‡ that government establishes food safety requirements, facilitate industry’s compliance with these and then ensure that the requirements are met through a range of regulatory and nonregulatory measures.