The Worst Food-Related Disasters in Modern History

Weird History Food recounted some of the most lethal and tragic food-related disasters that occurred during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Food and drink are meant to be enjoyed, right? Not always. Surprisingly, food has been the focal point of several catastrophes throughout history. Shortages, overabundance, and even tainted food preparation have caused calamity in ways we never thought imaginable.

This includes the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 in Boston that killed 12 people, Saint Anthony’s Fire (ergot poisoning), the Irish Potato Famine, which killed 25% of the Irish population between the years 1845 and 1855, the Tainted Beer crisis of 1966, the London Beer Flood in 1814, The Spanish Toxic Oil Outbreak in 1981, and the Washburn Mill Explosion of 1878.

Food Disasters
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.