Food consumption surveys are performed in many countries. Comparison of results from those surveys across nations is difficult because of differences in methodological approaches. While consensus about the preferred methodology associated with national food consumption surveys is increasing, no inventory of methodological aspects across continents is available. The aims of the present review are (1) to develop a framework of key methodological elements related to national food consumption surveys, (2) to create an inventory of these properties of surveys performed in the continents North-America, South-America, Asia and Australasia, and (3) to discuss and compare these methodological properties cross-continentally. A literature search was performed using a fixed set of search terms in different databases. The inventory was completed with all accessible information from all retrieved publications and corresponding authors were requested to provide additional information where missing. Surveys from ten individual countries, originating from four continents are listed in the inventory. The results are presented according to six major aspects of food consumption surveys. The most common dietary intake assessment method used in food consumption surveys worldwide is the 24-HDR (24 h dietary recall), occasionally administered repeatedly, mostly using interview software. Only three countries have incorporated their national food consumption surveys into continuous national health and nutrition examination surveys.