Over the past 5 years Salmonella enteritidis infections in humans have increased on both sides of the Atlantic ocean. The WHO salmonella surveillance data for 1979-87 were reviewed and show that S. enteritidis appears to be increasing on at least the continents of North America, South America, and Europe, and may include Africa. S. enteritidis isolates increased in 24 (69%) of 35 countries between 1979 and 1987. In 1979, only 2 (10%) of 21 countries with reported data reported S. enteritidis as their most common salmonella serotype; in 1987, 9 (43%) of 21 countries reported S. enteritidis as their most common serotype; 8 (89%) of 9 were European countries. Although the reason for the global increase is not yet clear, investigations in individual countries suggest it is related to consumption of eggs and poultry which harbour the organism.