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FSA calls for comments on food chain virus guidance

UK regulator the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is moving forward with a plan to update its guidance on viruses in the food chain.

On 24 March, a draft of the revised advisory document on foodborne viral infections was released. A two-month consultation period is now underway. The FSA has requested that food industry representatives, healthcare professionals, consumer and public sector stakeholders pass on their opinions before 22 May 2015.

The document has been produced by the FSA’s Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), and is the result of 13 meetings of the committee held between November 2010 and July 2013.

Professor Sarah O’Brien, Chair of the ACMSF, says: ‘Until recently it has been difficult to assess accurately the impact of foodborne viruses on public health.

‘However, significant advances in our ability to detect viruses in food, coupled with up- to-date estimates of the burden of illness, highlighted in the ACMSF’s latest update, show us that viruses are very important, preventable causes of foodborne illness.’

The group has concluded that norovirus, hepatitis A and hepatitis E are the most serious of the viruses currently likely to contaminate the food chain.

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.