EFSA has published a scientific report on the outcomes of a scientific workshop on foodborne viruses organised jointly by EFSA and the UK Food Standards Agency. The workshop took place earlier this year in London, and brought together academics, clinicians, veterinarians, food industry specialists and regulators with expertise in research, clinical settings and food producing/processing operations.
Against the background of an increasing number of outbreaks caused by foodborne viruses, the participants assessed the state of knowledge in this field. They focused on norovirus, the hepatitis A virus and the hepatitis E virus, which are of great public health concern in the EU. Knowledge gaps and research needs were identified and are summarised in the report.
This report describes the outcome of a workshop held jointly by the Food Standards Agency UK and the European Food Safety Authority on foodborne viruses. The workshop gathered together academics, clinicians, veterinarians, food industry specialists and regulators with established expertise in epidemiology, detection and control of norovirus, hepatitis A virus and hepatitis E virus in foodstuffs. The primary objective of the workshop was to identify priority areas for future research funding in order to maximise efficiency and to benefit from synergies provided by interdisciplinary collaborations. This report describes the methodology employed to rank and prioritise research needs and the main workshop conclusions. The conclusions identified that the highest priorities were development and validation of methods for assessing hepatitis E virus infectivity, establishment of the relationship between the detection of norovirus in food and public health risk, development of methods for evaluating norovirus and hepatitis A virus infectivity in food samples, standardisation of methods for hepatitis E virus detection in meat and meat products, and determination of the burden of hepatitis E in human populations in Europe.
Thursday October 20, 2016/ EFSA/ European Union.