The World Health Organization (WHO) is looking for a consultant to help update estimates on the burden of foodborne diseases.

The agency’s Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG) published the first global report on this subject in 2015. This showed foodborne diseases caused 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths in 2010.

This past year, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution requesting WHO to monitor regularly, and to report to member states on, the burden of foodborne and zoonotic diseases at national, regional and international levels.

It also asked WHO to prepare a new report on foodborne infections with up-to-date estimates of global foodborne disease incidence, mortality and disease burden in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) by 2025.

Role requirements
The Nutrition and Food Safety (NFS) Department is addressing the burden of disease from physical, chemical and microbial hazards in food and unhealthy diets, maternal and child malnutrition, and obesity.

The consultant needs a university degree in public health, life science, food safety or related areas. The role is intended to start in May and will run through Dec. 31, 2021. Work will be done remotely. For a full list of requirements follow this link.

The consultant will support work to estimate the global burden of foodborne diseases and country level activities to assess the national burden; assist work to develop the global food safety indicators; and support organization of a technical consultation on innovative approaches to accelerate data collection and analyses.

Interested applicants should send their resumes to with a short cover letter by April 9.

A call for experts was advertised in 2020 to establish new members of FERG and closed at the end of the year.

WHO is also updating the global strategy for food safety and aims to deliver a new plan by 2022.

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