Raw foods that legally reach Europe, including plants, fruits, and vegetables, pose no risk of Ebola virus transmission, according to a new report by scientists with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). And no human has ever been known to become infected with the Ebola virus from consumption of legally important foods into the European Union from African countries. AfricanWomanFruit_406x250For the virus to be transmitted though food, several steps would be necessary, and none of these has ever been reported. The food exported from Africa would have to be contaminated at the point of origin, the food would need to contain a viable virus (“capable of surviving”) when it arrives into the EU, and the person has to be infected following foodborne exposure. In their risk assessment, EFSA experts identify several knowledge and data gaps — for example, how long the virus could survive in food. The report was developed by EFSA scientists and external experts, including two from the World Health Organization. In a previous report, EFSA scientists assessed the risk of Ebola transmission through bushmeat illegally imported into Europe from Western and Central Africa, concluding that it was low. Outbreaks of Zaire Ebola virus disease have been reported in nine countries so far: Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Senegal. All these countries can export fruits and vegetables into the EU, with the exception of potatoes. Experts now believe the year-old Ebola outbreak, which has infected 24,000 people and killed 10,000 of them, could be over by this summer.