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Current Position:Home » Documents » Food Safety Education »

Foodborne Illness Peaks in Summer - Why?

  • Published: 2013-08-22
  • File Format: PDF
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  • Size: 480K
  • Language: English
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Year after year, we hear and read the same advice: Handle food carefully in the summer because foodborne illness -- also known as “food poisoning” -- is more prevalent in warmer weather. Do foodborne illnesses increase during the summer months? If so, why?

Yes, foodborne illnesses do increase during the summer, and the answer appears to be twofold. First, there are the natural causes. Bacteria are present throughout the environment in soil, air, water, and in the bodies of people and animals. These microorganisms grow faster in the warm summer months. Most foodborne bacteria grow fastest at temperatures from 90 to 110 °F. Bacteria also need moisture to flourish, and summer weather is often hot and humid.Given the right circumstances, harmful bacteria can quickly multiply on food to large numbers. When this happens, someone eating the food can get sick.

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