The general principles for safety and nutritional evaluation of foods and feed and the potential health risks associated with hazardous compounds are described as developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and further elaborated in the European Union-funded project Safe Foods. We underline the crucial role of sampling in foods/feed safety assessment. High quality sampling should always be applied to ensure the use of adequate and representative samples as test materials for hazard identification, toxicological and nutritional characterization of identified hazards, as well as for estimating quantitative and reliable exposure levels of foods/feed or related compounds of concern for humans and animals. The importance of representative sampling is emphasized through examples of risk analyses in different areas of foods/feed production. The Theory of Sampling (TOS) is recognized as the only framework within which to ensure accuracy and precision of all sampling steps involved in the field-to-fork continuum, which is crucial to monitor foods and feed safety. Therefore, TOS must be integrated in the well-established FAO/WHO risk assessment approach in order to guarantee a transparent and correct frame for the risk assessment and decision making process.