Outlines the role of viruses in relation to food safety. Those of significance fall largely into two groups – the so‐called small round‐structured viruses and Hepatitis A virus – the original source of which is human faeces. This may contaminate foods “in the field”, especially in the case of shellfish, or during food handling by infected food handlers. Although viruses cannot grow in foods, contamination of foods followed by person‐to‐person spread can lead to major outbreaks. The public health significance of food‐borne viruses is likely to become better appreciated as methods for their detection improve.
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