lunes, 13 de mayo de 2013

Texas A&M Researchers Kill Norovirus in Oysters with Electron Beam

A new way to pasteurize oysters without chemicals or heat using an electron beam can kill Norovirus and Hepatitis virus. 

Oysters can become contaminated with norovirus or hepatitis A from being handled by a sick food service worker or from contamination in the waters where they were harvested. If eaten raw, oysters contaminated with either virus can make people sick.

Although the CDC recommends that all shellfish be cooked to an internal temperature of 140˚, many people enjoy raw eating oysters raw. Pasteurization is one way to address the health risk of raw foods. And it’s one of the electron beam or E beam applications being explored at the National Center for Electron Beam Research at Texas A&M University.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved E beam technology as a way to control Vibrio vulnificus, a naturally occurring bacteria in shellfish that can cause life- threatening illness or death. In this study, researchers measured E beam’s efficacy on different levels of viral concentration. They found that at high levels of contamination the E beam was able to reduce norovirus levels by 12 percent and hepatitis A levels by 16 percent and at more moderate levels of contamination the method was able to reduce norovirus by 26 percent and hepatitis A by 90 percent.

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