WHO Alliance for Food Safety to increase global surveillance of foodborne illnesses

Fruit vendor helps customer stuff bananas into a paper bag Getty Images/Dani Ferrasanjose
Fruit vendor helps customer stuff bananas into a paper bag Getty Images/Dani Ferrasanjose

The World Health Organization (WHO), with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Foodborne Waterborne and Environmental Disease (CDC DFWED), is launching the WHO Alliance for Food Safety to aid countries with global surveillance of foodborne illnesses. The WHO Alliance for Food Safety will have its first meeting from May 6 – 8 in Geneva, Switzerland and virtually.

The latest initiative seeks to accomplish foodborne disease surveillance targets set in the WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety 2022–2030. Adopted at the World Health Assembly in May 2022, the global strategy sets out “five priorities and adopted targets to guide action and track progress toward reducing foodborne infections,” per Food Safety News. One of the target goals is to increase the global capacity for surveillance of foodborne diseases and contamination from a score of 1.5 in 2022 to 3.5 by 2030. WHO and CDC are also looking to reactivate WHO’s Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) and tap into its network of Collaborating Centers to further support the WHO Alliance for Food Safety.

The Alliance will also include other institutions with “demonstrated leadership and technical competency,” according to Food Safety magazine.