Foodborne Viruses: Detection, Risk Assessment, and Control Options in Food Processing

In a recent report by risk assessment experts on the identification of food safety priorities using the Delphi technique, foodborne viruses were recognized among the top rated food safety priorities and have become a greater concern to the food industry over the past few years. Food safety experts agreed that control measures for viruses throughout the food chain are required. However, much still needs to be understood with regard to the effectiveness of these controls and how to properly validate their performance, whether it is personal hygiene of food handlers or the effects of processing of at risk foods or the interpretation and action required on positive virus test result. This manuscript provides a description of foodborne viruses and their characteristics, their responses to stress and technologies developed for viral detection and control. In addition, the gaps in knowledge and understanding, and future perspectives on the application of viral detection and control strategies for the food industry, along with suggestions on how the food industry could implement effective control strategies for viruses in foods. The current state of the science on epidemiology, public health burden, risk assessment and management options for viruses in food processing environments will be highlighted in this review.

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