The incidence of foodborne diseases has increased over the years and resulted in major public health problem globally. Foodborne pathogens can be found in various foods and it is important to detect foodborne pathogens to provide safe food supply and to prevent foodborne diseases. The conventional methods used to detect foodborne pathogen are time consuming and laborious. Hence, a variety of methods have been developed for rapid detection of foodborne pathogens as it is required in many food analyses. Rapid detection methods can be categorized into nucleic acid-based, biosensor-based and immunological-based methods. This review emphasizes on the principles and application of recent rapid methods for the detection of foodborne bacterial pathogens. Detection methods included are simple polymerase chain reaction (PCR), multiplex PCR, real-time PCR, nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA), loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and oligonucleotide DNA microarray which classified as nucleic acid-based methods; optical, electrochemical and mass-based biosensors which classified as biosensor-based methods; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and lateral flow immunoassay which classified as immunological-based methods. In general, rapid detection methods are generally time-efficient, sensitive, specific and labor-saving. The developments of rapid detection methods are vital in prevention and treatment of foodborne diseases.