Salmonellosis is a disease that represents a major public health concern in both developing and developed countries. The aim of this article is to evaluate the public health burden of Salmonella illness in Lebanon. The current scope of the Salmonella infection problem was assessed in relation to disease incidence and distribution with respect to age, gender and district. Factors that provide a better understanding of the magnitude of the problem were explored and highlighted. Data reported to the Epidemiologic Surveillance Department at the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health between 2001 and 2013 was reviewed. Information obtained was compared to information reported regionally and globally. The estimated true incidence was derived using multipliers from the CDC and Jordan. A literature review of all published data from Lebanon about Salmonella susceptibility/resistance patterns and its serious clinical complications was conducted. The estimated incidence was 13·34 cases/100 000 individuals, most cases occurred in the 20–39 years age group with no significant gender variation. Poor and less developed districts of Lebanon had the highest number of cases and the peak incidence was in summer. Reflecting on the projected incidence derived from the use of multipliers indicates a major discrepancy between what is reported and what is estimated. We conclude that data about Salmonella infection in Lebanon and many Middle Eastern and developing countries lack crucial information and are not necessarily representative of the true incidence, prevalence and burden of illness.