The scope of the International Health Regulations of 2005 (IHR (2005)) has been expanded. The IHR (2005) are no longer limited to a specific set of infectious diseases, instead they prescribe detection and assessment of any event of potential public health concern regardless of its source or origin. We examine events of non-infectious origin that might fulfill the criteria of a potential public health emergency of international concern under the IHR (2005). These comprise predominately events related to food safety, but also events related to drug safety or of chemical or industrial origin. We argue that to identify these events and assess health effects related to them, existing disease surveillance systems should be augmented with less specific indicator-based syndromic surveillance strategies that use available routine health-related service data for monitoring purposes.