NEARS* is targeted to government food safety programs. To register:
- Federal, State, Tribal, and Territorial Programs – Follow the registration steps below.
Local Programs – Determine whether your state is already registered (not sure? Check the list).
- If your state is not registered, follow the registration steps below.
- If your state is registered, contact your state NEARS administrator (email NEARS@cdc.gov if you need the administrator’s contact information).
To register, identify an administrator to complete the steps below. The administrator should be someone knowledgeable about food safety and foodborne illness outbreaks in your area. The administrator will identify the data collectors who need access to the system.
There is no limit to the number of data collectors, but all must be knowledgeable in conducting environmental assessments of foodborne illness outbreak.
To start the registration process, the administrator should
1. Fill out the following forms and email them to NEARS@cdc.gov:
- Federal, State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Programs – Notice of Participation Form. Cdc-pdf[PDF – 216 KB]
- Local Programs (additional form) – State Notice and Acknowledgment of Local Participation Form. Cdc-pdf[PDF – 134 KB]
2. Take CDC’s free Environmental Assessment Training Series (EATS). CDC highly recommends this interactive course for all NEARS users. Successful course completion will improve data quality in NEARS.
How To Participate Once You Register
Once registered for NEARS, participating programs can report environmental assessment data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations.
- Environmental health or food safety specialists conduct an environmental assessment as part of foodborne illness outbreak investigation.
- The person who conducted the environmental assessment or the designated NEARS data collector knowledgeable about the outbreak enters data from the environmental assessment into NEARS.
- The designated NEARS administrator then reviews and verifies the entered data to ensure quality.
Agencies can download their data at any time. Data are held on a central server complying with all security policies for CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
*Note: NEARS was formerly known as the National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS).