Foodborne diseases take a major toll on health, with millions of European estimated to fall ill and many dying every year as a result of eating or handling unsafe food. Food safety is hence recognized as an essential aspect of public health.
WHO developed in 2002 a global strategy for reducing the burden of foodborne disease, which is being implemented world wide. According to this strategy, the prevention of foodborne disease and the response to food safety challenges requires holistic, risk-based and timely food safety policies and strategies.
National food safety policies and strategies should aim to achieve an integrated and coordinated national food safety system that addresses the whole food chain, including environmental aspects.