Universal access to safe food is a key requirement for the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals. And yet an estimated 600 million people each year fall sick from eating unsafe food and 420 000 of them die. Safe food is also critical for economic development and the international food trade. Setting and measuring food security indicators have significantly contributed to improving and communicating progress in achieving food security. Considering their success, several countries in Asia and the Pacific region have asked the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to provide guidance on the development of food safety indicators. Following a comprehensive review and a technical consultation on the topic, a pilot project was developed in four countries to establish food safety indicators that fit their country contexts and objectives. The pilot project confirmed the usefulness of food safety indicators in strengthening national food control systems. In contrast to other types of indicators, food safety indicators were not found to be suitable for benchmarking capacities among countries. The regional guide to develop food safety indicators aims to provide countries with technical advice to develop national food safety indicators that serve country-specific objectives. By reading the guide, food safety competent authorities will be equipped with instruments and experience-based tips to effectively develop and use food safety indicators, and to tailor them to fit their countries’ contexts.