Human noroviruses are the most common etiologic agent of foodborne illness in the United States. The inability to culture human noroviruses in the laboratory necessitates the use of surrogate viruses such as murine norovirus (MNV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV) for inactivation studies. In this study, a novel sanitizer of organic acid (levulinic acid) plus the anionic detergent sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) was evaluated. Viruses were treated with levulinic acid (0.5 to 5%), SDS (0.05 to 2%), or combinations of levulinic acid plus SDS (1:10 solution of virus to sanitizer). MNV-1 inoculated onto stainless steel also was treated with a 5% levulinic acid plus 2% SDS liquid or foaming solution. Log reductions of viruses were determined with a plaque assay. Neither levulinic acid nor SDS alone were capable of inactivating MNV-1 or FCV, resulting in a <= 0.51-log reduction of the infectious virus titer. However, the combination of 0.5% levulinic acid plus 0.5% SDS inactivated both surrogates by 3 to 4.21 log PFU/ml after 1 min of exposure. Similarly, MNV-1 inoculated onto stainless steel was reduced by >1.50 log PFU/ml after 1 mm and by >3.3 log PFU/ml after 5 min of exposure to a liquid or foaming solution of 5% levulinic acid plus 2% SDS. The presence of organic matter (up to 10%) in the virus inoculum did not significantly affect sanitizer efficacy. The fact that both of the active sanitizer ingredients are generally recognized as safe to use as food additives by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration further extends its potential in mitigating foodborne disease.