Submitted to: Food and Environmental Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2021
Publication Date: 3/10/2021
Citation: Annous, B.A., Buckley, D., Kingsley, D.H. 2021. Efficacy of chlorine dioxide gas against hepatitis A virus on blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Food and Environmental Virology. 13,241-247. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12560-021-09465-1.
Interpretive Summary: Although hepatitis A virus (HAV) is becoming increasingly rare in the US and Northern Europe, this virus remains an economic and public health threat due to global trade of fresh and frozen berries produced in areas where this virus is endemic. Illness and mortality can be severe in older Americans. Suitable nonthermal interventions for berries have been elusive. In fact some berries such as raspberries cannot be washed because they are too delicate. Here we evaluate gaseous chlorine dioxide for the potential to inactivate HAV on the surface of artificially-contaminated berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries). We demonstrate that HAV can be inactivated by somewhat higher gaseous chlorine dioxide treatments than is required to inactivate Tulane virus, a norovirus surrogate.
Technical Abstract: The effectiveness of steady state levels of gaseous chlorine dioxide (ClO2) against hepatitis A virus (HAV) on berries was determined. The generated ClO2 was maintained with 1 or 2 mg/L air inside a 269-liter glove box to treat 50 g batches of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and 100 g batches of strawberries that were immersion coated with HAV. Normalized treatments of ClO2 ranging from 1.00 to 6.27 ppm-h/g berry were evaluated. When compared to untreated HAV-contaminated berries, log reductions of HAV were >2.1 for all berry types and conditions tested indicating the gaseous ClO2 was effective. The average log reduction with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries treated with 1.00 ppm-h/g, the lowest ClO2 treatment tested, were 2.44, 2.49, 3.23, 3.45 respectively. The highest treatment of 6.27 ppm-h/g was applied at 1 mg/l and 2 mg/l. Average log reductions for blueberries were 4.32 and 4.42. For strawberries 6.27 ppm-h/g treatments applied at 1 mg/l and 2 mg/l inactivated 4.10 and 3.65 logs of HAV, respectively. For blackberries and raspberries 3.20 & 3.51 and 3.27 & 3.97 log reductions were observed for 1 mg/l and 2 mg/l applications, respectively. Overall results suggest that constant levels of ClO2 are effective against this resilient foodborne virus.