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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Feb 11;58(3):405-419. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2016.1182891. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

Prevalence and evaluation strategies for viral contamination in food products: Risk to human health-a review.

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a Department of Food Science and Technology , Yeungnam University , Gyeongsan-si , Gyeongsangbuk-do , Republic of Korea.
b Department of Energy and Materials Engineering , Dongguk University , Seoul , Republic of Korea.
c Experiment and Research Institute, National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service , Gimcheon-si , Gyeongsangbuk-do , Republic of Korea.
d Evaluation Team, Gyeongbuk Institute for Regional Program Evaluation , Gyeongsan-si , Gyeongsangbuk-do , Republic of Korea.
e Department of Integrated Biomedical and Life Science , Korea University , Seoul , Republic of Korea.


Nowadays, viruses of foodborne origin such as norovirus and hepatitis A are considered major causes of foodborne gastrointestinal illness with widespread distribution worldwide. A number of foodborne outbreaks associated with food products of animal and non-animal origins, which often involve multiple cases of variety of food streams, have been reported. Although several viruses, including rotavirus, adenovirus, astrovirus, parvovirus, and other enteroviruses, significantly contribute to incidence of gastrointestinal diseases, systematic information on the role of food in transmitting such viruses is limited. Most of the outbreak cases caused by infected food handlers were the source of 53% of total outbreaks. Therefore, prevention and hygiene measures to reduce the frequency of foodborne virus outbreaks should focus on food workers and production site of food products. Pivotal strategies, such as proper investigation, surveillance, and reports on foodborne viral illnesses, are needed in order to develop more accurate measures to detect the presence and pathogenesis of viral infection with detailed descriptions. Moreover, molecular epidemiology and surveillance of food samples may help analysis of public health hazards associated with exposure to foodborne viruses. In this present review, we discuss different aspects of foodborne viral contamination and its impact on human health. This review also aims to improve understanding of foodborne viral infections as major causes of human illness as well as provide descriptions of their control and prevention strategies and rapid detection by advanced molecular techniques. Further, a brief description of methods available for the detection of viruses in food and related matrices is provided.


Food; detection; epidemiology; prevalence; virus

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