The World Health Organization’s Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (WHO’s FERG) is in search of experts to assist in the group’s efforts to estimate the global burden of foodborne illnesses. 

FERG was established in 2007 with the purpose of quantifying the negative impacts of foodborne disease, and the group’s most recent estimates were published in 2015. Work to update the estimates is underway, with a new report expected to be released in 2025. FERG’s recent elicitations aim to recruit experts who can support the development of updated estimates.  

FERG is searching for experts to review and synthesize evidence of diarrheal diseases and deaths caused by 14 specific pathogens that are commonly transmitted by food. The work will involve collating data, reviewing available literature, and conducting a systematic review to discern what proportion of pathogen-specific diarrheal illnesses and deaths are foodborne, while also considering variables such as affected regions and demographics. Another elicitation that was recently put forth by FERG requests experts who are willing to conduct a global source attribution study to estimate the proportions of the global foodborne disease burden attributed to transmission routes and specific foods. 

Experts who are interested in responding to FERG’s elicitations can apply on WHO’s portal.