The World Health Organization (WHO) launched an initiative to generate the first ever estimates of the global burden of foodborne disease and established an external advisory group—the Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG)—to take this forward. The first ever WHO estimates of the global burden of foodborne diseases, developed by FERG, were published in December 2015. They provide estimates by age, sex, and region for foodborne diseases caused by a defined list of microbes, parasites and chemicals.
The global estimates will support countries in assessing their own burden of foodborne disease, increase awareness and commitment for the implementation of food safety standards and, for the first time, highlight the magnitude of this global problem.
The FERG symposium 'The Global burden of foodborne diseases' was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 15-16 December 2015. This FERG symposium was organized by the World Health Organization and the Local Organizing Committee at RIVM, supported by the Scientific Committee.