Public health advice on food safety emergencies and outbreaks of foodborne disease

Globalization of food production, increased international trade and travel have raised the potential for international food safety emergencies and outbreaks of foodborne diseases. A recent example is the outbreak of E.coli 0104 infection in 2011, which killed 55 people and made nearly 4000 individuals from 16 countries in Europe and North America sick.

Intersectoral cooperation at both national and international level, including exchange of information, is fundamental to prevent food safety emergencies and control outbreaks of foodborne diseases. 

WHO supports coordinated exchange of information through the International Health Regulations, the International Food Safety Authority Network (INFOSAN) and other reporting mechanisms. Working closely with national health authorities and international partners, WHO provides technical and policy advice to its Member States by assessing health risks, facilitating information sharing and identifying possible actions to protect public health.