Virological Quality of Irrigation Water in Leafy Green Vegetables and Berry Fruits Production Chains.
Sommaire de l'article
This study condenses data acquired during investigations of the virological quality of irrigation water used in production of fresh produce. One hundred and eight samples of irrigation water were collected from five berry fruit farms in Finland (1), the Czech Republic (1), Serbia (2), and Poland (1), and sixty-one samples were collected from three leafy green vegetable farms in Poland, Serbia, and Greece. Samples were analyzed for index viruses of human or animal fecal contamination (human and porcine adenoviruses, and bovine polyoma viruses), and human pathogenic viruses (hepatitis A virus, hepatitis E virus, and noroviruses GI/GII). Both index and pathogenic viruses were found in irrigation water samples from the leafy green vegetables production chain. The data on the presence of index viruses indicated that the highest percentage of fecal contamination was of human origin (28.1 %, 18/64), followed by that of porcine (15.4 %, 6/39) and bovine (5.1 %, 2/39) origins. Hepatitis E virus (5 %, 1/20) and noroviruses GII (14.3 %, 4/28) were also detected. Samples from berry fruit production were also positive for both index and pathogenic viruses. The highest percentage of fecal contamination was of human origin (8.3 %, 9/108), followed by that of porcine, 4.5 % (4/89) and bovine, 1.1 % (1/89) origins. Norovirus GII (3.6 %, 2/56) was also detected. These data demonstrate that irrigation water used in primary production is an important vehicle of viral contamination for fresh produce, and thus is a critical control point which should be integrated into food safety management systems for viruses. The recommendations of Codex Alimentarius, as well as regulations on the use of water of appropriate quality for irrigation purposes, should be followed.