Food safety is threatened by a wide variety of viruses, being the enteric viruses the most relevant pathogens, which are transmitted through the fecal-oral route. These enteric viruses include norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, enterovirus, sapovirus, astrovirus, hepatitis A virus, and hepatitis E virus. Human noroviruses are the leading cause of gastroenteritis and the most common cause of foodborne illness, while Hepatitis A virus is the cause of between 2% and 7% of outbreaks worldwide caused by the consumption of contaminated food. In addition, there are emerging viruses such as the hepatitis E virus that pose an additional food safety hazard.
Our expertise includes the development of procedures for the detection and quantification of viruses in food and the assessment of the efficacy of conventional (e.g. heat-treatments, high pressure processing, chemical sanitizers) and emerging food technologies (e.g. application of natural compounds, antiviral coatings, antiviral packaging) for virus inactivation.