University Of LavalGastroenteritis is said to be an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, concerning both the stomach and the small intestine and leading to acute diarrhea. Around 40% of commercial sanitizers utilized to clean surfaces are thought to be unproductive in removing noroviruses, a group of viruses accountable for over half of all foodborne gastroenteritis occurrences. As per University of Laval scientists, only bleach-based disinfectants seem to severely decrease the concentration of these viruses. The research was led by Julie Jean, professor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences.

Noroviruses are transmitted directly by means of contact with contaminated people or indirectly via infected objects, foods, or surfaces. The efficacy of disinfectants utilized to clean surfaces at home or at businesses in the food sector is consequently critical for restricting the spread of these viruses, which appears to affect more than 21 million people every year in the US alone.

Julie Jean and colleagues examined the effectiveness of three chief categories of household disinfectants in eradicating noroviruses such as bleach-based products, alcohol-based products, and quaternary ammonium–based products.

Lab tests exhibited that five minutes of contact with a bleach-based disinfectant appears to decrease the concentration of noroviruses on a stainless steel surface by a factor of 1,000. Alcohol and quaternary ammonium-based products seemingly turned out to be 100 times less effectual.

Professor Jean, who is also a researcher at the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF), commented, “Our results are of particular concern considering that some 40% of the commercial surface disinfectants on the market are alcohol or ammonium based.”

Julie Jean’s team also found that it apparently takes just ten minutes for human noroviruses to tightly cling on to a stainless steel surface. Professor Jean mentioned that once attached, these viruses can survive for weeks and potentially contaminate anyone who touches them. And it’s highly probable that our findings on stainless steel surfaces also apply to other materials.

The findings were published in the Journal of Food Protection.