From May 2020
In response to the current pandemic, our virologist Martin D’Agostino and his team are developing methods
to help the food industry control SARS-CoV-2 and detect its presence in a working environment.
Quickly assessing SARS-CoV-2-effective sanitisers
Public Health England recommends a minimum 60% alcohol content for sanitisers to ensure effectiveness
against coronavirus. Other active ingredients are known to destroy viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2, but the
current methods used to assess a sanitiser’s efficacy are complicated as they test a wide range of bacteria, as well as other viruses. This increases the time-to-result, which is a problem during a pandemic when sanitiser is needed quickly on the ‘frontline’.
We are developing a simpler method with a focus on a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus to speed up the process
of checking SARS-CoV-2-effective sanitisers (and disinfectants) which are being made available to the
industry. With more of these products on the market, it is less likely that the industry will experience a shortage during the pandemic.
Swabbing for coronavirus
Currently, there are swabbing kits available to detect coronavirus in patient samples. However, the
question of whether the food industry can use these kits for environmental monitoring, to ensure their
cleaning regimes are working correctly, still stands.
Work will determine whether these kits are still effective outside of a medical setting – where coronavirus numbers will likely be lower. If deemed effective, food manufacturers and retailers will be able to determine whether they need to put additional measures in place to control the virus at their premises.
Get in touch with Martin to find out more.
Contact: Martin D'Agostino