About Environmental Health Services

The Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch is part of the National Center for Environmental Health’s Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice.

The branch provides practice-based research, training, tools and guidance.

Safe Water

  • Funds state and local health departments to improve safe drinking water programs (Safe Water for Community Health).
  • Addresses health risks in building plumbing systems (Legionella) and public pools, waterparks, and pools and hot tubs/spas in hotels, apartment complexes, and neighborhoods (Model Aquatic Health Code).
Image of a hand cupped getting water.

Food Safety

  • Funds studies on food safety in restaurants and recommends food safety practices to reduce foodborne illness and outbreaks (Environmental Health Specialists Network).
  • Conducts training and surveillance on the environmental causes of foodborne illness outbreaks (National Environmental Assessment Reporting System and Environmental Assessment Training Series).
Photo of gloved hands chopping a cucumber.

Performance Improvement/Practice Support

  • Helps state, tribal, local, and territorial environmental health programs fill performance gaps and contribute to larger performance improvement efforts such as voluntary public health accreditation.
  • Provides resources to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of state, tribal, local, and territorial environmental health programs (Environmental Public Health Performance Standards).
Image of a graph

Vessel Sanitation Program

  • Helps the cruise ship industry prevent and control the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses on cruise ships through a model fee-based program.
  • Conducts periodic, unannounced operational sanitation inspections.
  • Monitors gastrointestinal illnesses and investigates outbreaks.
 Couples on beach with cruise ship behind them

More Information

Learn Why Environmental Health Services are so Important.

Check out the EHS Program Activities.

Page last reviewed: April 11, 2019