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Survival and decontamination of viruses on fresh produce
Project Code: B02014
Viruses can survive on fresh fruit and vegetables for prolonged periods and in many cases for longer than the shelf life of the product. In laboratory experiments, washing produce with potable water and with chlorinated water removed a proportion of virus present. The research suggests that, in relation to virus removal, chlorinated water is better than potable water alone. Washing with chlorinated water, at levels of chlorine commonly used by the food industry, does not remove all the contaminating virus. If contamination levels are high, it is likely that after washing, sufficient virus would remain to cause infection. Experiments with a bacteriophage suggested that it could be a potential model for human enteric viruses that could be used safely and easily by the food industry in the design and testing of washing protocols.
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