Food safety

Initiative to estimate the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases


WHO's Initiative

The real impact and costs of foodborne diseases globally is unknown. The Initiative to Estimate the Global Burden of Foodborne Diseases was launched out of the need to fill this data vacuum by the Department of Food Safety and Zoonoses (FOS) of the World Health Organization (WHO) at an international consultation in September 2006. This Initiative primarily strives:

  • to provide data and tools to support policy-makers and other stakeholders to set appropriate, evidence-informed priorities of food safety at country level.

Through the support of a special advisory group, the Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG), the Initiative aims to:

  • Strengthen the capacity of countries in conducting burden of foodborne disease assessments and to increase the number of countries who have undertaken a burden of foodborne disease study.
  • Encourage countries to use burden of foodborne disease estimates to set evidence-informed policies.
  • Provide estimates on the global burden of foodborne diseases according to age, sex and regions for a defined list of causative agents of microbial, parasitic, and chemical origin.

Publication Outputs

  • A Global Report and Global Atlas on FBD morbidity, disability and mortality. Both will be made accessible online and through software available to scientists in developing countries.
  • A peer reviewed paper series in a high-impact journal with at least 50% of authors from developing countries.
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