Impacts of climate change on the microbial safety of pre-harvest leafy green vegetables as indicated by Escherichia coli O157 and Salmonella spp.

C. Liu, N. Hofstra, E. Franz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The likelihood of leafy green vegetable (LGV) contamination and the associated pathogen growth and survival are strongly related to climatic conditions. Particularly temperature increase and precipitation pattern changes have a close relationship not only with the fate and transport of enteric bacteria, but also with their growth and survival. Using all relevant literature, this study reviews and synthesises major impacts of climate change (temperature increases and precipitation pattern changes) on contamination sources (manure, soil, surface water, sewage and wildlife) and pathways of foodborne pathogens (focussing on Escherichia coli O157 and Salmonella spp.) on pre-harvested LGVs. Whether climate change increases their prevalence depends not only on the resulting local balance of the positive and negative impacts but also on the selected regional climate change scenarios. However, the contamination risks are likely to increase. This review shows the need for quantitative modelling approaches with scenario analyses and additional laboratory experiments. This study gives an extensive overview of the impacts of climate change on the contamination of pre-harvested LGVs and shows that climate change should not be ignored in food safety management and research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Volume163
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • enterica serovar typhimurium
  • manure-amended soil
  • irrigation water
  • united-states
  • fresh produce
  • multistate outbreak
  • sewage-sludge
  • pathogenic microorganisms
  • contaminated manure
  • ambient-temperature

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