Foodborne viruses: EFSA report

EFSA has published a report on the outcomes of a scientific workshop on foodborne viruses.

Organised jointly by EFSA and the UK Food Standards Agency, the workshop took place earlier this year in London and brought together academics, clinicians, veterinarians, food industry specialists and regulators with expertise in research, clinical settings and food producing/processing operations.

Against the background of an increasing number of outbreaks caused by foodborne viruses, the participants assessed the state of knowledge in this field. They focused on norovirus and the hepatitis A and E viruses, which are of great public health concern in the EU. Knowledge gaps and research needs were identified and are summarised in the report, by the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).

It also lists five priorities for further research:

  • Development and validation of direct and indirect methods for assessment of HEV infectivity
  • Establishing how the detection of norovirus in foodstuffs relates to public health risks
  • Methods to evaluate norovirus and hepatitis A infectivity in control measures and food samples
  • Development of standard methods and ISO methods for detection of HEV in meat and meat products
  • Establishing the burden of hepatitis E in human populations in Europe.

The workshop was organised following a proposal to EFSA’s Advisory Forum by the UK in 2015.

Read more.

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