Worldwide, foodborne diseases, and more especially diarrhoeal diseases, are an important cause of morbidity and mortality.
There is a strong need to strengthen surveillance systems for foodborne diseases. Surveillance data are used for planning, implementing and evaluating public health policies.
WHO has developed a comprehensive strategy on strengthening foodborne disease surveillance. Among the most virulent foodborne diseases and foodborne pathogens causing disease are: Campylobacter, Escheria coli, Salmonella, Shigella species and Trichinella.
One of the initiatives to strengthen surveillance systems for foodborne disease was the establishment, in January 2000, of the Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN), consisting of institutions and individuals working in human health as well as veterinary and food-related disciplines.
In the area of foodborne diseases WHO also is involved in:
- Outbreak investigation and response
- Pre-harvest control strategies
- Burden of foodborne disease illness
- Antimicrobial resistance due to non-human antimicrobial usage