Viruses in Food
Scientific Advice to Support Risk Management Activities
by World Health Organization
This report draws attention to the threat of viruses as a risk to public health when they are present in food. Viruses play a major role in the burden of infectious intestinal disease and require special and separate attention because they behave differently from bacteria. Also, control measures currently being used typically either have not been validated, and there is not a good understanding of their efficacy towards viruses, or are not effective in controlling virus contamination. Foodborne viral infections are very common in many parts of the world and the characteristics of foodborne viruses present new challenges for risk managers. In identifying the major routes of viral contamination of foods, this report seeks to highlight the areas that need immediate attention and provide guidance to both risk assessors and risk managers in understanding the challenges to be overcome in effectively addressing the problems associated with foodborne viruses.