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Two New Reports Concentrate on Viruses in Food

March 26, 2015

foodBoth the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) and the Food Standards Agencies (FSA) Chief Scientific Advisor have released new reports on viruses in food.

The ACMSF, an independent advisory committee which provides expert advice to the FSA, set up a group to revisit the issue of foodborne viruses in light of developments in the area. The document considered the most important viruses associated with foodborne infections, norovirus, hepatitis A, and hepatitis E. Recommendations include the need for clearer advice for consumers particularly in cooking shellfish and pork products as well as the need for further research in certain areas. The committee agree that the proportion of norovirus transmitted by food is still uncertain while available evidence suggests that Hepatitis E is able to withstand temperatures above 70ºC. The government are expected to respond to the contents of the report in due course.

In anticipation of the ACMSF releasing their findings, Professor Guy Poppy, the FSA Chief Scientific Advisor, chose viruses in food as the subject for his first report, saying, “It is fitting to have chosen foodborne viruses as the first subject, as it provides a background to the ACMSF’s important review and highlights the work the FSA is already doing to address this major issue. These two reports demonstrate how the science and evidence collected by the FSA and our collaborators informs our advice to the public and helps us to understand how we can better protect UK consumers.”

You can view the ACMSF report here

You can view Professor Poppy’s report here