The importance of foodborne parasitic zoonoses remains high in many regions of the world. Although control efforts have been exerted for quite some time, overall progress has not been satisfactory, even in many well developed countries. An important drawback in control programmes for parasites such as Trichinella, Toxoplasma and Taenia has been the absence of rapid, accurate and sensitive diagnostic tests for these meatborne parasites. However, the rapid advances in the molecular biology of these organisms has yielded concomitant gains in precision of detection. This review highlights these advances and their impact or potential application to the control of foodborne parasites.