FSA Releases Results of Study Into Norovirus In Food “An estimated 380,000 cases of norovirus linked to food occur in the past year”

Blog | 3 March 2020

The recent announcement from the FSA that it’s publishing a ground-breaking five-year study into the extent of norovirus in food is once again raising the issue of hygiene in the catering industry and the responsibility for companies and their staff to employ high levels of personal and food hygiene.   


The studies and the accompanying models reveal:

  • An estimated 380,000 cases of norovirus linked to food occur in the UK every year
  • A breakdown of the roles of the main transmission pathways in food suggest eating out accounts for an estimated 37% of all foodborne norovirus cases, takeaways at 26%, open- headed lettuce on retail sale at 30%, raspberries on retail sale at 4%, and oysters on retail sale at 3%
  • The revised foodborne norovirus estimate, combined with better analysis of how many illnesses of unknown cause are also likely to be caused by food, suggest around 2.4 million estimated UK cases of foodborne illness occur each year


John Holah, Technical Director at Holchem, comments:

We welcome the FSA’s new research figures.  It’s vital that all businesses involved in food preparation of any kind have a stringent hygiene policy in place and the team at Holchem have been working with businesses for over 30 years to ensure they have in place the most robust practices. Stringent hand hygiene policies play an important role in this and must be in place at all times with companies ensuring the correct procedures, facilities and products are available to clean hands and training is given on an ongoing basis so each member of the team is aware of and understands the correct procedures to follow. Kitchen cleaning is a crucial and integral part of any food preparation business; from surface cleaning, to equipment cleaning to floors.  Staff who carry out the cleaning procedures must be made fully aware of the regime they have to follow and the correct products to use.