The effect of temperature on food poisoning: a time-series analysis of salmonellosis in ten European countries

Epidemiol Infect. 2004 Jun;132(3):443-53. doi: 10.1017/s0950268804001992.


We investigated the relationship between environmental temperature and reported Salmonella infections in 10 European populations. Poisson regression adapted for time-series data was used to estimate the percentage change in the number of cases associated with a 1 degree C increase in average temperature above an identified threshold value. We found, on average, a linear association between temperature and the number of reported cases of salmonellosis above a threshold of 6 degrees C. The relationships were very similar in The Netherlands, England and Wales, Switzerland, Spain and the Czech Republic. The greatest effect was apparent for temperature 1 week before the onset of illness. The strongest associations were observed in adults in the 15-64 years age group and infection with Salmonella Enteritidis (a serotype of Salmonella). Our findings indicate that higher temperatures around the time of consumption are important and reinforce the need for further education on food-handling behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Food Contamination
  • Food Handling*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Salmonella Food Poisoning / epidemiology*
  • Salmonella Food Poisoning / etiology
  • Salmonella enterica / pathogenicity
  • Seasons
  • Temperature*