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The impact of climate change on food safety: an island of Ireland perspective


Global climate change will inevitably disrupt the world’s food production systems. How, and to what extent, continues to present a challenge for climate prediction scientists, particularly with regard to predicted changes at a local level. The interface of climate change and food security has understandably been the subject of much scrutiny. However, within this definition, the impacts upon food safety have received comparatively little attention.

The island of Ireland is a highly developed region, yet its largest industry remains agriculture and therefore the effects of climate change on food production and food safety are of particular economic and public health relevance. safefood commissioned the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast to undertake a literature based review on the potential impacts of climate change on food safety from an Island of Ireland perspective. The review assessed the potential impacts of climate change on food safety and highlighted those areas of the food chain that are most likely to be impacted. Recommendations to ameliorate those impacts were also suggested.

This report represents the most comprehensive assessment yet of the climate-related difficulties we face relating to the production of safe food on the Island of Ireland.

Elliott, Chris
Queen's University - Belfast
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