Viral and Parasitic Foodborne Disease Professional Development Group

Mission Statement: To promote awareness of non-bacterial causes of foodborne disease by encouraging Food Safety Professionals and others to seek education and training that will enable them to contribute to preventing non-bacterial foodborne infections and outbreaks.

Next Meeting

October 25, 2020
Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland | Cleveland, Ohio

In conjunction with IAFP 2020

How to Join

Involvement in committees and professional development groups (PDGs) offers Members the opportunity to share a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Members of committees and PDGs are the architects of the Association structure. They plan, develop and institute many of the Association's projects, including workshops, publications and educational sessions. Technical challenges facing the food safety industry are discussed, examined and debated. Members may volunteer to serve on any number of committees or PDGs that plan and implement activities to meet the Association's mission.

Membership on a PDG is voluntary (not by appointment) and may vary from year to year.

IAFP Members can manage their PDG involvement by logging in to the IAFP Web site. At the Member Dashboard, click “Edit Profile.” Your profile has two tabs: Contact Info and Professional Info. Select the Professional Info tab and update the PDGs you would like to participate in. We highly recommend that you contact the PDG chairperson for each group to let them know you have joined their PDG.

Non-members can contact Dina Siedenburg,, for more information.


2019 Board Response to Recommendations +

  1. Approve Julie Jean as Vice Chair.

    Board Response: Agree.

2018 Board Response to Recommendations +

  1. Assist the PDGs to strengthen communication and collaborations to avoid overlap/duplication of proposals. If possible promote conference calls among PDG’s Chairs prior to submission of proposals.

    Board Response: Agree. Submission ideas will be circulated to PDG Chairs and Vice Chairs along with a list of contact information for other PDG Chairs and Vice Chairs.

2017 Board Response to Recommendations +

  1. Recommend approval of Alexandre Da Silva as Vice Chair.

    Board Response: Agree.

2016 Board Response to Recommendations +

  1. None

2015 Board Response to Recommendations +

  1. Efi Papafragkou recommended as Vice-Chair of the PDG.

    Board Response: Agree.


  • Foodborne Viruses: Detection, Risk Assessment, and Control Options in Food Processing

    Sponsored by: The IAFP Foundation

    Organized by: ILSI Europe and the IAFP Viral and Parasitic Foodborne Disease Professional Development Group

    Description: This webinar will be a presentation of the current science on epidemiology, public health burden and risk assessment for viruses in food processing environments. Current technologies for viral detection and control as well future perspectives on the application, along with suggestions on how the food industry could implement effective control strategies and management options for viruses in foods will be introduced.

    Download Slides


    • Elissavet Gkogka, Presenter Arla Foods, Denmark
    • Fabienne Hamon, Presenter bioMérieux, France
    • Sophie Zuber, Presenter Nestlé Research Center, Switzerland
    • Alvin Lee, Moderator Institute for Food Safety and Health, Illinois Institute of Technology, United States
  • The Global Burden of Foodborne Disease - Results and perspectives of WHO’s Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG)

    The WHO Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group is providing estimates of the global burden of foodborne diseases, according to age, sex and region, for a defined list of causative agents of microbial, parasitic, and chemical origin, thereby strengthening the capacity of countries to assess the burden of foodborne disease and increasing awareness and commitment for the implementation of food safety standards. These estimates provide valuable information for food safety professionals.

    This webinar is sponsored by Wageningen University, Marcel Zwietering, Leon Gorris, Arie Havelaar and an anonymous MMRA PDG Member.

    Webinar Slides

    View Webinar


    • Arie Hendrik Havelaar Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida
    • Marcel Zwietering, Moderator Wageningen University
  • Harmonization of Methods for the Extraction and Detection of Human Enteric Viruses from Foods

    Speakers present on their respective efforts to develop harmonized and/or standardized methods for detection of enteric viruses in food products. The European perspective discusses the efforts of the European Committee for Standardisation TAG4 group (comprising scientists from 13 European countries) to develop a standard method for detection of viruses (including norovirus) in a number of food matrices (bivalve shellfish, soft fruit, salad vegetables, bottled water, food surfaces). The method will be published this year as an ISO Technical Specification – in addition the European Union is currently funding TAG4 to conduct a validation project which will enable the method to be re-published as a validated International Standard within the next few years. The US perspective focuses on the recent development of a rapid and sensitive method for the extraction and detection of hepatitis A virus and norovirus from green onions and bivalve shellfish.

    This presentation discusses progress made on validation of these methods and how these are being incorporated into FDA’s regulatory mission. The Canadian perspective focuses on the successful collaboration of several federal and provincial laboratories that resulted in the development and validation of a norovirus detection method in oysters. By 2006, the method designated as OPFLP-01 was published in the Health Canada (HC) Compendium of Methods following validation and approval by the Microbiology Methods Committee (MMC). The method has performed well in the EU Ring Trials and has been used to aid in the investigations of various foodborne illnesses.

    Organized by the Viral and Parasitic Foodborne Disease PDG


    • William Burkhardt III CAPT, U.S. Public Health Service, Chief, Microbial Hazards Science Branch, U.S. Food and Drug Administration/CFSAN/ Office of Food Safety
    • Dr. James Lowther European Union Reference Laboratory for monitoring bacteriological and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
    • Dr. Sabah Bidawid Chief, Microbiology Research Division, Health Canada, Food Directorate, Bureau of Microbial Hazards