First formal meeting of the Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG), 26-28 November 2007
In November 2007, the Foodborne Diseases Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG), an external expert group advising WHO on the estimation of the global burden of foodborne diseases, was formally convened for the first time. The first meeting of the FERG saw the establishment of several thematic Task Forces (TF) to advance the work in the areas of enteric diseases, chemical causes and parasitic diseases. In their respective areas, the TF provided (a) priority lists of causative agents for which burden assessments should be conducted, (b) developed concrete and very detailed work plans to commission the individual burden work, and (c) agreed on the logistic and technical steps to be taken by the FERG over the next year. The execution of the plan rests with the WHO Secretariat and will lead to a first set of preliminary burden of disease estimates in the area of diarrhoeal diseases, and some parasitic and chemical causes of foodborne diseases for the next FERG meeting in November 2008.