Climate change and food safety: An emerging issue with special focus on Europe

Paola Battilani, Aldo Prandini, Gianfranco Piva, M. Miraglia, H. J.P. Marvin, G. A. Kleter, C. Brera, E. Coni, F. Cubadda, L. Croci, B. De Santis, S. Dekkers, R. W.A. Hutjes, M. Y. Noordam, M. Pisante, L. Toti, G. J. Van Den Born, A. Vespermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

310 Citations (Scopus)


According to general consensus, the global climate is changing, which may also affect agricultural and livestock production. The potential impact of climate change on food security is a widely debated and investigated issue. Nonetheless, the specific impact on safety of food and feed for consumers has remained a less studied topic. This review therefore identifies the various food safety issues that are likely to be affected by changes in climate, particularly in Europe. Amongst the issues identified are mycotoxins formed on plant products in the field or during storage; residues of pesticides in plant products affected by changes in pest pressure; trace elements and/or heavy metals in plant products depending on changes in their abundance and availability in soils; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in foods following changes in long-range atmospheric transport and deposition into the environment; marine biotoxins in seafood following production of phycotoxins by harmful algal blooms; and the presence of pathogenic bacteria in foods following more frequent extreme weather conditions, such as flooding and heat waves. Research topics that are amenable to further research are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1021
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Climate change
  • Climate prediction
  • Europe
  • Food hazards
  • Food safety
  • Research policy


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