Food borne viruses are responsible for 20% of collective food poisonings in Europe today. As the number of contamination notifications increases each year, this issue has become a major concern of quality and security for our customers.
The main types of viruses are:
- Norovirus GI/GII (90% of cases) : responsible for gastroenteritis
- Hepatitis A : causes fever, icterus, gastric problems…
- Other less frequent viruses: Sapovirus, Rotavirus, Reovirus, Hepatitis E…
These non-enveloped RNA viruses are highly infectious, contagious and resistant to cold, cooking and acid pH but also pasteurization, freeze-drying, chemicals…
They are therefore very hard to control and crises can spread very easily and quickly throughout an entire region.
The main products concerned are :
- Raw vegetables
- Shells and molluscs
- Herbs and spices
- Uncooked preparations
- Surfaces (work spaces, manufacturing chains..)
Food-borne virus detection : a necessary step towards quality and security
Recent crises (in Oct. 2012, 11 000 children were contaminated in Germany by frozen strawberries from China) and the increasing importation of raw materials from countries where hygiene processes are yet to be developed, have raised awareness of the risks of virus contamination amongst all levels of the agro-industry.
Additionally, regulatory recommendations (EC 2073/2005) insist on the fact that foods should not contain micro-organisms, toxins nor metabolites in quantities which can present a risk for human health. A new regulation from December 2012 has just increased the level of official controls on imports of frozen strawberries from China (1235/2012).
The seller's responsibility is at stake, even in case of simple distribution.
Contamination crises can therefore have serious consequences such as product withdrawal/recall, but also brand image protection issues, and even judicial proceedings.
EUROFINS supports you every step of the way
Eurofins has opened a new P3 laboratory, expert on and dedicated to virus testing.
Eurofins analyses your products:
- Detection and identification of norovirus GI/GII et hepatitis A
- Virus quantification possible, if presence detected
- These tests are adapted to your product
- These tests are adaptable to other viruses (Rotavirus, Hepatitis E…)
The method used is the Real-Time PCR method :
- Reliable : robust, sensitive and 100% specific
- Fast: results delivered in a few hours
- Conform with the CEN TAG4 method
Eurofins helps you prevent contamination crises
- by auditing:
- The origin of your raw material
- Your product-related risks
- Your production/transformation circuits and processes
- Your health and cleaning Best Practices
- By implementing your Control Plans to improve your HACCP
- By providing training, to increase your staff's risk awareness and implement good practices in your company
In case of positive virus detection, we can also help you identify the risk points and possible causes of contamination.
For any question or enquiry about Eurofins virus detection, please contact us :
+33 1 69 10 88 89