Ensuring an effective and rapid handling of natural, accidental and deliberate contaminations, which can result in food borne outbreaks, countries requires alert, preparedness and response systems to prevent public health threats from actual or threatened intentional contamination of the food supply. Timely and scientific correct risk assessments are essential for a comprehensive crises management. Both should be seen as multidisciplinary approaches with the participation of stakeholders from all sectors of the "farm-to-fork" continuum including the public health sector. Further capabilities to prevent and simulate the spread of diseases as well as defined criteria for use and interpretation of data in a crisis context are crucial. This paper summaries progresses made in the field of food chain security that can support risk assessment tasks in food borne outbreak events.