Several enteric viruses were examined for their survival at 4 C on strawberries, cherries, and peaches. With few exceptions, recovery of virus from fruit maintained in a humid atmosphere decreased with time; recoveries from strawberries were especially low; recoveries of coxsackievirus and echovirus were greater than those of poliovirus and reovirus. Aqueous fruit infusions were antiviral and in general correlated with virus loss on the fruit surfaces. An infusion prepared from intact grapes inactivated poliovirus. Desiccation was another contributing factor in virus destruction. No naturally-occurring virus was found in nine fruit samples examined in this study.
Survival of enteric viruses under several environmental conditions was studied to determine whether contaminated vegetables pose a health hazard. Five test viruses stored in water or phosphate-buffered saline survived without significant loss for 36 days at 4 C. Virus decay followed a first-order reaction during room-temperature storage or evaporation at 4 C. Virus decay was more rapid on glass than on vegetables; presence of feces delayed decay on the vegetable surface. Examination of 14 vegetable samples over a three-month period showed no naturally-occurring viruses.