Viruses are transmitted to humans via foods as a result of direct or indirect contamination of the foods with human faeces. Viruses transmitted by a faecal-oral route are not strongly dependent on foods as vehicles of transmission, but viruses are important among agents of foodborne disease. Vehicles are most often molluscs from contaminated waters, but many other foods are contaminated directly by infected persons. The viruses most often foodborne are the hepatitis A virus and the Norwalk-like gastroenteritis viruses. Detection methods for these viruses in foods are very difficult and costly; the methods are not routine. Indicators that would rapidly and reliably suggest the presence of viral contamination of foods are still being sought. Contamination can be prevented by keeping faeces out of food or by treating vehicles such as water in order to inactivate virus that might be carried to food in this way. Virus cannot multiply in food, but can usually be inactivated by adequate heating. Other methods of inactivating viruses within a food are relatively unreliable, but viruses in water and on exposed surfaces can be inactivated with ultraviolet light or with strong oxidizing agents.