New food safety challenges of viral contamination from a global perspective: Conventional, emerging, and novel methods of viral control

Hamid Ezzatpanah, Vicente M. Gómez-López, Tatiana Koutchma, Farnoush Lavafpour, Frank Moerman, Mohammad Mohammadi, Dele Raheem

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Food- and waterborne viruses, such as human norovirus, hepatitis A virus, hepatitis E virus, rotaviruses, astroviruses, adenoviruses, and enteroviruses, are major contributors to all foodborne illnesses. Their small size, structure, and ability to clump and attach to inanimate surfaces make viruses challenging to reduce or eliminate, especially in the presence of inorganic or organic soils. Besides traditional wet and dry methods of disinfection using chemicals and heat, emerging physical nonthermal decontamination techniques (irradiation, ultraviolet, pulsed light, high hydrostatic pressure, cold atmospheric plasma, and pulsed electric field), novel virucidal surfaces, and bioactive compounds are examined for their potential to inactivate viruses on the surfaces of foods or food contact surfaces (tools, equipment, hands, etc.). Every disinfection technique is discussed based on its efficiency against viruses, specific advantages and disadvantages, and limitations. Structure, genomic organization, and molecular biology of different virus strains are reviewed, as they are key in determining these techniques effectiveness in controlling all or specific foodborne viruses. Selecting suitable viral decontamination techniques requires that their antiviral mechanism of action and ability to reduce virus infectivity must be taken into consideration. Furthermore, details about critical treatments parameters essential to control foodborne viruses in a food production environment are discussed, as they are also determinative in defining best disinfection and hygiene practices preventing viral infection after consuming a food product.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-941
Number of pages38
JournalComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
MoEC publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • bioactive compounds
  • chemical and physical disinfection
  • heat
  • irradiation
  • pulsed light
  • ultraviolet
  • virucidal surface
  • virus

Field of science

  • Law
  • Food science


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