Survival of Calicivirus in Foods and on Surfaces: Experiments With Feline Calicivirus as a Surrogate for Norovirus

J Food Prot. 2007 Feb;70(2):500-3. doi: 10.4315/0362-028x-70.2.500.


Although there is a large body of evidence incriminating foods as vehicles in the transmission of norovirus, little is known about virus survival in foods and on surfaces. Feline calicivirus was used as a surrogate for norovirus to investigate its survival in representative foods of plant and animal origin and on metal surfaces. Known concentrations of feline calicivirus in a natural fecal suspension were deposited onto lettuce, strawberries, ham, or stainless steel and incubated for 7 days at refrigeration or room temperatures. Virus was recovered at 1-day intervals, and the titers of the virus were determined by plaque assay. Infectious virus was recoverable until day 7 from lettuce, ham, and stainless steel. Statistically higher titers of feline calicivirus (P < 0.05) were recovered from ham under all conditions than from lettuce, strawberries, or stainless steel. These data provide valuable information for epidemiological and monitoring purposes as well as for the development of food processing practices and appropriate strategies to inactivate norovirus and control its transmission via foods and surfaces.

MeSH terms

  • Calicivirus, Feline / growth & development
  • Equipment Contamination*
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Fruit / virology
  • Humans
  • Meat Products / virology
  • Norovirus / growth & development*
  • Stainless Steel
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors
  • Vegetables / virology


  • Stainless Steel