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Survival of Calicivirus in Foods and on Surfaces: Experiments with Feline Calicivirus as a Surrogate for Norovirus

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Although there is a large body of evidence incriminating foods as vehicles in the transmission of norovirus, little is known about virus survival in foods and on surfaces. Feline calicivirus was used as a surrogate for norovirus to investigate its survival in representative foods of plant and animal origin and on metal surfaces. Known concentrations of feline calicivirus in a natural fecal suspension were deposited onto lettuce, strawberries, ham, or stainless steel and incubated for 7 days at refrigeration or room temperatures. Virus was recovered at 1-day intervals, and the titers of the virus were determined by plaque assay. Infectious virus was recoverable until day 7 from lettuce, ham, and stainless steel. Statistically higher titers of feline calicivirus (P < 0.05) were recovered from ham under all conditions than from lettuce, strawberries, or stainless steel. These data provide valuable information for epidemiological and monitoring purposes as well as for the development of food processing practices and appropriate strategies to inactivate norovirus and control its transmission via foods and surfaces.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Sir F. G. Banting Research Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0K9 2: Environmental Health Science Bureau, Environmental Health Directorate, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada, Sir F. G. Banting Research Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0K9 3: Centre for Research on Environmental Microbiology (CREM), Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1H 8M5

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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