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Effectiveness of Consumers Washing with Sanitizers to Reduce Human Norovirus on Mixed Salad

1
Enteric Virus Laboratory, Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Statistics, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2
Nutrition and Food Safety Research Institute (INSA·UB), University of Barcelona, Santa Coloma de, 08921 Gramenet, Spain
3
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70010 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal contribution.
Foods 2019, 8(12), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods8120637
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 25 November 2019 / Accepted: 29 November 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety of Fresh and Minimally Processed Produce)
Human norovirus (HuNoV) is a foremost cause of domestically acquired foodborne acute gastroenteritis and outbreaks. Despite industrial efforts to control HuNoV contamination of foods, its prevalence in foodstuffs at retail is significant. HuNoV infections are often associated with the consumption of contaminated produce, including ready-to-eat (RTE) salads. Decontamination of produce by washing with disinfectants is a consumer habit which could significantly contribute to mitigate the risk of infection. The aim of our study was to measure the effectiveness of chemical sanitizers in inactivating genogroup I and II HuNoV strains on mixed salads using a propidium monoazide (PMAxx)-viability RTqPCR assay. Addition of sodium hypochlorite, peracetic acid, or chlorine dioxide significantly enhanced viral removal as compared with water alone. Peracetic acid provided the highest effectiveness, with log10 reductions on virus levels of 3.66 ± 0.40 and 3.33 ± 0.19 for genogroup I and II, respectively. Chlorine dioxide showed lower disinfection efficiency. Our results provide information useful to the food industry and final consumers for improving the microbiological safety of fresh products in relation to foodborne viruses.
Keywords: human norovirus; leafy greens; disinfection; chlorine; peracetic acid; PMAxx-viability RTqPCR human norovirus; leafy greens; disinfection; chlorine; peracetic acid; PMAxx-viability RTqPCR
MDPI and ACS Style

Anfruns-Estrada, E.; Bottaro, M.; Pintó, R.M.; Guix, S.; Bosch, A. Effectiveness of Consumers Washing with Sanitizers to Reduce Human Norovirus on Mixed Salad. Foods 2019, 8, 637.

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