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Food and Environmental Virology

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 253–262 | Cite as

Persistence of Hepatitis A Virus in Fresh Produce and Production Environments, and the Effect of Disinfection Procedures: A Review

  • N. Cook
  • I. Bertrand
  • C. Gantzer
  • R. M. Pinto
  • A. Bosch
Review Paper
  • 248 Downloads

Abstract

Although information is limited, it is evident that prolonged persistence of infectious Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a factor in the transmission of the virus via fresh produce. Consequently, data on persistence of the virus on produce, and in environments relevant to production, such as soils, water and surfaces, are required to fully understand the dynamics of transmission of HAV via foods. Furthermore, information on effective disinfection procedures is necessary to implement effective post-harvest control measures. This review summarises current information on HAV persistence in fresh produce and on relevant disinfection procedures. On vegetables, HAV can remain infectious for several days; on frozen berries, it can persist for several months. HAV can remain infectious on surfaces for months, depending on temperature and relative humidity, and can survive desiccation. It can survive for several hours on hands. Washing hands can remove the virus, but further data are required on the appropriate procedure. Chlorination is effective in water, but not when HAV is associated with foodstuffs. Bleach and other sodium hypochlorite disinfectants at high concentrations can reduce HAV on surfaces, but are not suitable for use on fresh produce. There is only limited information on the effects of heating regimes used in the food industry on HAV. HAV is resistant to mild pasteurisation. Some food components, e.g. fats and sugars, can increase the virus’ resistance to higher temperatures. HAV is completely eliminated by boiling. Quantitative prevalence data are needed to allow the setting of appropriate disinfection log reduction targets for fresh produce.

Keywords

Hepatitis A virus Persistence Removal Food Water Surfaces 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency (Project FS101074). The authors thank Jonathan Stein and Karyn Pinnock for assistance with literature acquisition.

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Copyright information

© Crown 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Cook
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. Bertrand
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • C. Gantzer
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • R. M. Pinto
    • 6
  • A. Bosch
    • 6
  1. 1.Food and Environment Research AgencyYorkUK
  2. 2.Jorvik Food and Environmental Virology Ltd.YorkUK
  3. 3.Université de Lorraine, LCPME (Laboratoire de Chimie Physique et Microbiologie pour l’Environnement), UMR 7564, Faculté de PharmacieNancyFrance
  4. 4.CNRS, LCPME, UMR 7564NancyFrance
  5. 5.Institut Jean BarriolUniversité de Lorraine, Faculté des Sciences et TechnologiesVandœuvre-lès-NancyFrance
  6. 6.University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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