The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has commissioned a study to assess the contribution made by the food chain to the burden of UK-acquired norovirus (NoV) infection. This Norovirus Attribution Study (NoVAS) consists of a number of work packages which will together provide an indication of the proportion of norovirus infection that is foodborne. Work Package 5 (WP5), led by the University of Liverpool, will examine the role of caterers in the transmission of norovirus through the food chain, and in collaboration with Environmental Health Officers (EHOs), will undertake a prevalence survey of NoV in the catering environment in outbreak and non-outbreak premises, allowing us to assess the contribution of food handlers to contamination of the catering environment.
In order to further inform this research, the FSA wishes to engage with social research to assess specifically the role of food handlers in the transmission of the virus. This research will consider whether cases of NoV could be linked to catering staff, and, if so, to assess where the virus may have been contracted, taking into consideration circumstances within and beyond the workplace, as well as how the transmission could have taken place, and what measures are in place to prevent the transmission of norovirus. The aim of this research is not to audit current processes, but to observe and identify behaviours which might increase the risk of transmission of norovirus, and to understand how these risks might be mitigated in the future. No enforcement action will be taken as a result of this research.
Deadline for proposals: 29 September
For more information, see: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/b63b6a97-eaa4-403e-afb0-803e55a0c1e3
Please contact Mike Daw if you’re interested in bidding.