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A Critical Review of the Effects of Heat, pH and Water Activity on the Survival of Hepatitis A and E Viruses

Institutions
University of Liverpool
University of Barcelona
Wageningen University
FERA - Food and Environment Research Agency
Start date
2013
End date
2014
Objective

The critical review will provide a comprehensive report on what is currently known about the survival characteristics of hepatitis A and E, and a statistical analysis of the available data on hepatitis A virus response to heat, pH and water availability. The review will identify the key knowledge gaps (for example, there is a significant knowledge gap in the response of hepatitis E virus to heat and other inactivation) and make practical recommendations on how to fill them. The effectiveness of current disinfection procedures in particular will be highlighted, and whether these are appropriate for control of hepatitis A virus contamination of foods, along with food production and preparation environments. These insights will be particularly useful to inform specific hazard characterisation and risk management. The approach will be based on a review of scientific literature, augmented by information from grey literature such as industry-related publications, conference proceedings, and other sources.

The knowledge gaps identified by the project will form a basis for consideration of future research needs to advance food safety and enhance public health.

More information

Background: Human enteric viruses are a major cause of infectious intestinal disease, with foodborne transmission thought to be an important route of infection. However, more recently, foodborne transmission of hepatitis viruses (hepatitis A and zoonotic hepatitis E) have become a concern raising questions about the survival of these viruses in a range of different foods such as figatellu (pig liver sausage consumed raw), strawberries, dates and sun-dried tomatoes. There are significant knowledge gaps regarding survival of hepatitis A and E viruses in different foods, fomites (any object or substance capable of carrying infectious organisms) and the environment.

To address these knowledge gaps, the FSA has commissioned a critical review of the effects of physical and chemical factors (. heat, pH, water activity, disinfectants, etc.) on the survival of hepatitis A and E viruses and whether the impact of these factors are affected by food matrices or food preparation surfaces.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project source
View this project
Project number
FS101074
Categories
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game