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e-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

Screenshot from YouTube food safety training promo video.

Check out our short food safety training promo video.

NEW! Check out our short video to learn why you should register for CDC’s fun, free, and interactive e-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks.

This e-Learning course provides training on how to use a systems approach in foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessments. Participants acquire in-depth skills and knowledge to

  • Investigate foodborne illness outbreaks as a member of a larger outbreak response team,
  • Identify an outbreak’s environmental causes, and
  • Recommend appropriate control measures.

Register for the e-Learning course at

After you register for the e-Learning course, CDC will provide you a user account.

Before you start the course, you will take a pretest to assess your current knowledge. After the pretest, you can start the course on foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessment, which includes the following sections:

Screen shot from training module of simulated interview with food worker.

Refrigerator contents seen in a simulated environmental assessment of a restaurant facility.

  1. Your assignment
  2. Overview of foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessments
  3. Effective interviewing skills
  4. Observation and record review
  5. Sampling
  6. Critical thinking skills
  7. Organizing assessment information
  8. Control strategies and concluding actions

The course is presented in the context of a simulated virtual environment where participants can interact and practice the skills being learned. The course can be completed in about 8-10 hours.

Already registered? Log on to the e-Learning course. Note: Persons with disabilities experiencing problems accessing the course should contact the Environmental Health Services Branch by email ( or phone (770-488-3438; please ask for a 508 Accommodation for e-Learning).

Read the fact sheet [PDF - 190 KB] on the e-Learning course.

Screen shot from training module of simulated interview with food worker.

Virtual training exercise of simulated interview with food worker.

Completion Certificates

Certificates of completion are awarded to all who successfully finish the course. Users must take the mastery test at a computer with print capabilities if they want to print their certificates. No matter where they take the mastery test, users will get an email to show they completed the course.

Continuing Education

Continuing education units (CEUs) are available free for this e-Learning course if it is passed within the first two attempts. Continuing education is obtained through CDC’s Training and Education Online. CDC is approved as an authorized provider of CEUs by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102. CDC is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 IACET CEUs for this program.

More About the e-Learning Course and NVEAIS

CDC developed the National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS) to collect environmental data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations. CDC highly recommends completing this e-Learning course before participating in NVEAIS; however, the course can be taken independently of NVEAIS.

Visit National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS) for more information on the system.

Course Development

This national foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessment course was collaboratively developed by CDC with the help of its Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net) grantees, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. EHS-Net is a collaborative forum of local, state, and federal food program officials who work toward understanding the environmental causes of foodborne and waterborne disease.

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