A quantitative microbial risk analysis—Monte Carlo method was used to estimate norovirus infection risks to consumers of wastewater-irrigated lettuce. Using the same assumptions as used in the 2006 WHO guidelines for the safe use of wastewater in agriculture, a norovirus reduction of 6 log units was required to achieve a norovirus infection risk of ∼10−3 per person per year (pppy), but for a lower consumption of lettuce (40–48 g per week vs. 350 g per week) the required reduction was 5 log units. If the tolerable additional disease burden is increased from a DALY (disability-adjusted life year) loss of 10−6 pppy (the value used in the WHO guidelines) to 10−5 pppy, the required pathogen reduction is one order of magnitude lower. Reductions of 4–6 log units can be achieved by very simple partial treatment (principally settling to achieve a 1-log unit reduction) supplemented by very reliable post-treatment health-protection control measures such as pathogen die-off (1−2 log units), produce washing in cold water (1 log unit) and produce disinfection (3 log units).
Research Article|November 09 2009
Estimation of norovirus infection risks to consumers of wastewater-irrigated food crops eaten raw
Duncan Mara, Andrew Sleigh; Estimation of norovirus infection risks to consumers of wastewater-irrigated food crops eaten raw. J Water Health 1 March 2010; 8 (1): 39–43. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2009.140
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