The Food and Environmental Research Agency FERA

York, United Kingdom

The Food and Environmental Research Agency FERA

York, United Kingdom
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Carratala A.,University of Barcelona | Rodriguez-Manzano J.,University of Barcelona | Hundesa A.,University of Barcelona | Rusinol M.,University of Barcelona | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2013

Determining the stability, or persistence in an infectious state, of foodborne viral pathogens attached to surfaces of soft fruits and salad vegetables is essential to underpin risk assessment studies in food safety. Here, we evaluate the effect of temperature and sunlight on the stability of infectious human adenoviruses type 2 and MS2 bacteriophages on lettuce and strawberry surfaces as representative fresh products. Human adenoviruses have been selected because of their double role as viral pathogens and viral indicators of human fecal contamination. Stability assays were performed with artificially contaminated fresh samples kept in the dark or under sunlight exposure at 4 and 30 °C over 24. h. The results indicate that temperature is the major factor affecting HAdV stability in fresh produce surfaces, effecting decay between 3 and 4 log after 24. h at 30 °C. The inactivation times to achieve a reduction between 1 and 4-log are calculated for each experimental condition. This work provides useful information to be considered for improving food safety regarding the transmission of foodborne viruses through supply chains. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Rodriguez-Lazaro D.,Leon Institute of Technology | Cook N.,The Food and Environmental Research Agency FERA | Ruggeri F.M.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Sellwood J.,British Standards Institute | And 19 more authors.
FEMS Microbiology Reviews | Year: 2012

Numerous viruses of human or animal origin can spread in the environment and infect people via water and food, mostly through ingestion and occasionally through skin contact. These viruses are released into the environment by various routes including water run-offs and aerosols. Furthermore, zoonotic viruses may infect humans exposed to contaminated surface waters. Foodstuffs of animal origin can be contaminated, and their consumption may cause human infection if the viruses are not inactivated during food processing. Molecular epidemiology and surveillance of environmental samples are necessary to elucidate the public health hazards associated with exposure to environmental viruses. Whereas monitoring of viral nucleic acids by PCR methods is relatively straightforward and well documented, detection of infectious virus particles is technically more demanding and not always possible (e.g. human norovirus or hepatitis E virus). The human pathogenic viruses that are most relevant in this context are nonenveloped and belong to the families of the Caliciviridae, Adenoviridae, Hepeviridae, Picornaviridae and Reoviridae. Sampling methods and strategies, first-choice detection methods and evaluation criteria are reviewed. Virus hazards from food, water and the environment, their reservoirs and routes of transmission; Sampling methods and sampling strategies thereof, including the first choice test methods, and criteria for data evaluation are described. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

De la Calle M.B.,European Commission | Emteborg H.,European Commission | Linsinger T.P.J.,European Commission | Montoro R.,Metal Contamination Laboratory IATA CSIC | And 6 more authors.
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

In answering a request from the Directorate General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Heavy Metals in Feed and Food, with the support of the International Measurement Evaluation Program, organized a proficiency test (PT), IMEP-107, on the determination of total and inorganic arsenic (As) in rice. The main aim of this PT was to judge the state of the art of analytical capability for the determination of total and inorganic As in rice. For this reason, participation in this exercise was open to laboratories from all over the world. Some 98 laboratories reported results for total As and 32 for inorganic As.The main conclusions of IMEP-107 were that the concentration of inorganic As determined in rice does not depend on the analytical method applied and that introduction of a maximum level for inorganic As in rice should not be postponed because of analytical concerns. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

ter Horst M.M.S.,Wageningen University | Boesten J.J.T.I.,Wageningen University | van Beinum W.,The Food and Environmental Research Agency FERA | Beulke S.,The Food and Environmental Research Agency FERA
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2013

Simulation of the increase of sorption in time is one of the options in higher tiers of pesticide regulatory leaching assessments to obtain more realistic leaching estimates. Therefore, accurate estimates of non-equilibrium sorption parameters are required as input for the pesticide leaching scenarios. Usually, non-equilibrium sorption is described with a two-site equilibrium/non-equilibrium model in which the non-equilibrium sorption is described with two parameters (i.e. the desorption rate coefficient of the non-equilibrium site and the Freundlich sorption coefficient of this site). Estimates of these parameters can be obtained with inverse modelling techniques. At the moment, there is little understanding about whether the confidence intervals provided by inverse modelling can be used as measure of the likely accuracy (i.e. how close the estimated value is to the true value) of these estimates. We set up a semi-global inverse modelling exercise for a large number of parameter sets (i.e. different pesticides) using simulated datasets. Inverse modelling of non-equilibrium parameters demonstrated decreasing accuracy of the estimates for decreasing values of the non-equilibrium sorption parameters and the equilibrium sorption coefficient. Furthermore, we found a relationship between the accuracy of a parameter estimate and its CV (coefficient of variation) provided by the inverse modelling technique. Using this relationship we calculated the likelihood of rightly or wrongly accepting or rejecting a parameter estimate as a function of this CV. We recommend to use this likelihood as the basis of communication with decision makers on how to decide on accepting or rejecting parameter estimates. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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