Reactiva is carrying out analyses for the industry’s main problems, providing results in 24 hours.
The coronavirus pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 has generated an unprecedented global alarm. In the food sector, one of the greatest concerns was to find out if it could be transmitted through food, but the most prestigious authorities in the world (the European EFSA and CDC, the FDA and CDC in the USA and the WHO) have indicated that all the evidence points towards the fact that this virus is not food-transmitted.
“At Reactiva we want to reassure both the agrifood industry and consumers. Really, the normal hygiene and disinfection steps must be maintained, since in general they offer a very high standard of Food Safety,” explains Isaac Hidalgo, the technical manager from the Microbiology and Molecular Biology Area at Reactiva.
And the fact is that, according to Hidalgo, both the producers and the marketing companies have a long-standing experience in this area, since on a daily basis they face up to “specific problems from the food industry that are much more difficult to fight, because they are derived from pathogenic micro-organisms that are more persistent” than SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, they recommend “remaining vigilant” against threats such as Listeria monocytogenes (with a 97% hospital admission rate and a 15% death rate according to official 2018 data from the European EFSA and CDC); Escherichia coli that produces Shiga toxins (STEC), with outbreaks that are increasing year after year; Salmonella spp (the most extensive pathogen notified) and the viruses that are transmitted by food such as Norovirus and hepatitis A.
As Albert Bosch, chairman of the Spanish Virology Society, one of the top virologists in the world, assured in a talk a few weeks ago, “the Norovirus’ lipidic coating is much more substantial than the coronavirus’ coating”. Therefore, in the same way disinfectant products that are used against Norovirus “destroy” SARS-CoV-2, a virus that is relatively easy to eliminate with regular disinfectants in the food industry, Hidalgo points out.
For those interested in checking their cleaning protocols and disinfectant products in their installations, Reactiva is carrying out analyses on surfaces for Norovirus and Hepatitis A using the RT-PCR technique, offering completely reliable results in just 24 hours. “The concern comes more from supermarkets and intermediaries, and even from other types of industries, such as Catering and Tourism.”