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Int J Food Microbiol. 2009 Jun 1;132(1):73-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2009.04.002. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

The feline calicivirus as a sample process control for the detection of food and waterborne RNA viruses.

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  • 1Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Products and Food Branch, Food Directorate, Health Canada, 251 Sir FG Banting Driveway, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Many food and waterborne outbreaks of infectious disease are caused by viruses. While numerous methods exist and are being developed to test food and water for the presence of enteric viruses, there is no standard control for the comparison of different methods. Potential control viruses should be well characterized, share the physical characteristics of the enterically infecting viruses and not normally be associated with foods. Here, the feline calicivirus (FCV) is proposed as a sample process control for methods aimed at the extraction and detection of RNA viruses in food and water. FCV is shown to be useful as a control for the extraction of hepatitis A virus (HAV) from water using filtration technology and from strawberries using the Pathatrix system. The FCV standard provides a valuable quality control tool when testing potentially contaminated food samples.

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