Foodborne viruses: identifying research needs to tackle public health risks

EFSA has published a scientific report on the outcomes of a scientific workshop on foodborne viruses organised jointly by EFSA and the UK Food Standards Agency.

The workshop took place earlier this year in London, and brought together academics, clinicians, veterinarians, food industry specialists and regulators with expertise in research, clinical settings and food producing/processing operations.

Against the background of an increasing number of outbreaks caused by foodborne viruses, the participants assessed the state of knowledge in this field. They focused on norovirus, the hepatitis A virus and the hepatitis E virus, which are of great public health concern in the EU. Knowledge gaps and research needs were identified and are summarised in the report.

The report, by the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), also lists five priorities for further research.

The workshop was organised following a proposal to EFSA’s Advisory Forum by the UK in 2015.