World Health Day will be celebrated on 7 April, with WHO highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with food safety under the slogan "From farm to plate, make food safe." Risks to food safety arise throughout the food chain, and involves many different sectors – health, agriculture, transport, environment, food service and the food industry. However – if food hygiene is to be effective through the entire food chain, consumers must also play their part and follow basic hygiene advice, to ensure that they handle and prepare food safely.
In 2013, there were over 310 000 reported cases of bacterial foodborne disease in the European Union/European Economic Area alone, of which 322 people died. Salmonella is one of the most common forms of food poisoning. This represents only the tip of the iceberg regarding the real burden of foodborne disease due to limited surveillance and reporting systems. The burden of foodborne disease in the eastern part of the European Region is likely to be even greater, while, at the same time, there are more challenges with regard to surveillance and reporting.
New threats to food safety are constantly emerging. Changes in food production, processing, distribution and consumption, changes to the environment, new and emerging bacteria and contaminants and antimicrobial resistance all pose challenges to national food safety systems. Increased travel and trade heighten the likelihood that contamination will spread internationally.