Public health professionals will soon have a clearer picture of the magnitude of food poisoning across Europe, thanks to a new European project which aims to improve the surveillance of food-borne infections across the continent.

The project is part of the Med-Vet-Net initiative, a European Network of Excellence which brings together experts from a range of fields to improve research into diseases transmitted from animals to humans, including food-borne infections.

The new project will focus on two of the most common food-borne infections in Europe: Salmonella and Campylobacter. Between them, these bacteria cause hundreds of thousands of cases of gastrointestinal illness every year. Salmonella is found principally in meat, meat products and eggs. Campylobacter is also found mostly in meat, but it has also been detected in fish products, cheese and vegetables.

Ultimately, the researchers hope that by painting a more accurate picture of the incidence of these diseases, public health officials will be able to implement better disease control methods.