The likelihood of human norovirus contamination of produce during handling and the removal of foodborne pathogens from surfaces and hands using a novel charged sanitizing wipe
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Food workers have been implicated in recent foodborne outbreaks associated with ready-to-eat foods. Few sanitation measures exist that are effective in removing and inactivating a broad range of pathogens from hands and surfaces, including enteric, non-enveloped viruses. This study was designed to quantitatively investigate the level of human norovirus contamination that can occur during handling of small fruits. Positively-charged, sanitizing wipes were also investigated for their ability to remove murine norovirus, Hepatitis A, and Salmonella enterica from stainless steel and gloved hands, with variations in wipe charge, number of swipes, and concentration of a novel levulinic acid plus sodium dodecyl sanitizer. The data from these studies indicate that norovirus transfer to fruits during harvest can occur readily in the absence of hand sanitation, and the sanitizing wipes used in this study can reduce, but not completely eliminate pathogens from hands and food contact surfaces.