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L’herpès transmitted by food, according to a study

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According to data from the World Health Organization, we estimates that 67% of the adult population worldwide carries the herpes virus type 1.

  • François Pouliot (Consult profile)François Pouliot

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Researchers at Laval University recently demonstrated that the herpes virus could remain infectious on food, drinks and surfaces associated with food for several hours.

In a press release released Wednesday, Laval University indicates that the study aimed to test the persistence of the Herpes simplex type 1 virus on surfaces such as steel stainless steel, aluminum, glass or plastic.

Tests were also carried out on cheddar cheese, sliced ​​almonds, apple peel, orange juice, cola-type soft drink, coffee and milk.

Published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology in October, the study's findings demonstrated that the herpes virus could survive at least 24 hours on all surfaces tested, and at least one hour on all foods.

The only exception is cola, probably because of its acidity, says the leader of the study, Julie Jean, professor in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and researcher at the Institute on Nutrition and Foods. functional foods (INAF) from Laval University.

We also found that the virus was transferable from stainless steel to latex gloves, especially when they are wet, continues the professor. But not nitrile gloves.

Latex and nitrile gloves are those used by people working in the food industry, specifies- her.

The release goes on to explain that, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that 67% of adult population worldwide carries herpes virus type 1.

Our results show that foods and surfaces can potentially be involved in the transmission of this virus, adds Professor Julie Jean.

Even if this transmission route has never been demonstrated in humans, our study constitutes a warning in regarding the sharing of food and drinks.

A quote from Julie Jean, head of the study, Laval University (press release)

She adds that you have to be careful, especially if there are active lesions. Our observations also remind us of the importance of rigorously applying hygiene measures in the food industry.

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