Incidences of food poisoning are likely to rise with increased global temperatures, according to a report from the WHO and Malta’s Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit. According to the report, a study on the health effects of climate change in the Maltese islands warns that rising temperatures increase the likelihood of food-borne diseases like salmonella.
The study found 450 cases of diarrheal illness in Malta occurring each day, at a cost of 16 million Euros. It was also reported that cases of diarrheal illness increase in May, with the rise in temperature, peaking in the summer months. The study looked at an 18 year period of illnesses from 1990-2008. Part of the increase was blamed on increased outdoor activities involving food such as barbecues.
In view of the increased risks caused by climate change the study calls for "increased public awareness on food safety, hygiene and food preparation."
The study was authored by Dr Anthony Gatt from the Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Unit and Dr Neville Calleja director of the Health Information and Research Directorate.