FSA Project Examines Causes Of Norovirus

New Initiative Launched With University Of Liverpool

24.04.2014

A new Food Standards Agency (FSA) project led by the University of Liverpool is to focus on the monitoring of incidents related to norovirus in both food premises and industry workers, it has been announced.

Researchers are set to produce data based on swabs collected from more than 200 pubs, restaurants and hotels in the North West and the South East of England.

The work is part of an effort to determine the proportion of infections which come from food and the number which originate from people or the environments involved.

They will also investigate occurrences in shops related to the highest risk foodstuffs including oysters and salads, while the information will be used to generate a full assessment of the true impact of norovirus in the UK.

Professor Sarah O’Brien, from the University of Liverpool, said: “The FSA has been hampered by a lack of data on the origins of outbreaks in the past, but this research should give it enough information to work on prevention strategies, and insight which allows it to focus its resources most effectively.”

Expert Opinion
Through our work representing victims who have contracted norovirus in hotels, holiday resorts and on cruise ships across the world, we have seen numerous cases when people have developed long-term health problems as result of the illness.

"As a result, we feel that any research aimed at developing a better understanding of norovirus and how it occurs is a vital step forward. More information and data on the issue will be hugely beneficial and could ultimately lead to new approaches to hygiene which reduce the risk of such problems emerging in the future.

"Illnesses like norovirus affect a huge number of people every year and it is vital that steps like this are taken to tackle this issue."
Suki Chhokar, Partner