News and Features Archive
This page provides links to EHS spotlight and news articles from past years.
Food Cooling Practice Improvements: Key Takeaways from 3 Food Safety Reports – Explore our new plain language summary describing findings from three articles on food cooling practices in restaurants.
Updates to National Environmental Assessment Reporting System – Use NEARS to capture environmental assessment data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations. Participants can now collect data on mobile devices, share and export assessment data, create a visual summary of data, and more.
Notes from the Field: Multiple Cruise Ship Outbreaks of Norovirus Associated with Frozen Fruits and Berries—United States, 2019 – Read about a CDC cruise ship investigation that identified contaminated foods including smoothies that caused outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in passengers.
Kitchen Manager Certification: An Important Way To Improve Restaurant Food Safety – Check out our updated infographic on the important role certified kitchen managers play in protecting food safety in restaurants.
Join the Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net)external icon – Apply today for a research opportunity to develop and sustain a network of public health professionals to identify practice-based priorities for retail food safety research.
Tools to Help Conquer the Model Aquatic Health Codeexternal icon – CDC’s Joe Laco, Brian Hubbard, and Shannon McClenahan discuss tools to help make the Model Aquatic Health Code easier to use and implement.
Legionnaires’ Disease and Water Management Programs – Read our blog to learn about CDC’s practical training on how to develop a water management program, the first line of defense to prevent the spread of Legionella.
Groundwater Corrosivity and Lead in Private Wells – Learn about corrosive groundwater and what to do when private well owners find lead in their drinking water, including controlling mobility of lead and stopping it from leaching into drinking water.
Creating a Comprehensive Dataset of Private Wells and Well Vulnerability in New York Stateexternal icon – Guest authors from New York State discuss how they updated their private well data to identify vulnerable wells during contamination events, select study populations for surveys and pilot sampling programs, and target outreach and education efforts.
Join the *NEW* Private Water Network from CDC and Partnersexternal icon – Join the virtual community, which includes a discussion forum, resources library, event calendar, webinars, and newsletters on private water issues.
Improve Water Programs with This Training – Take CDC’s training for safer well water through stronger public health programs using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.
Learn how CDC Works with Local Drinking Water Programs – Read this blog post to learn more about CDC’s Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) program.
Use CDC’s Resources to Strengthen Environmental Health Programsexternal icon – Pam Wigington and Elaine Curtiss share key data on environmental health issues and related resources to address them.
Empowered by Tracking: Using Data to Solve Public Health Problemsexternal icon – CDC’s Ann Ussery-Hall and intern Chad Curtiss discuss how tools from the Environmental Public Health Tracking Program can help EH professionals use data to make public health decisions.
Uncovering Environmental Health Needs and Opportunitiesexternal icon – CDC and guest authors discuss the UNCOVER EH initiative and what this peek into the EH workforce has already discovered.
Apply to CDC’s New Environmental Health Capacity (EHC) Funding Opportunity! – EHC is a 5-year opportunity to bolster the capacity of environmental health (EH) programs in public health departments to leverage data-driven and evidence-based approaches to detect, prevent, and control EH hazards.
Public Health Department Accreditation and Environmental Public Health: A Decade of Collaborationexternal icon – CDC’s Justin Gerding and Lisa Corso and the Public Health Accreditation Board’s Kaye Bender discuss updates to current Public Health Accreditation Board standards, how environmental health professionals have been involved, and how you can play a role in the process.
EH Emergency Preparedness and Response
Risk Communication for Environmental Health Practitionersexternal icon – CDC author Vivi Siegel discusses CDC’s risk communication resources to help practitioners prepare for their next emergency.
New CDC Guidance to Help Safely Reopen Businesses and Buildings – Use these steps to ensure that a water system is safe to use after a prolonged shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
The Role of Local Environmental Health Departments in Tick-Related Activities and Servicesexternal icon – CDC’s S. Kayleigh Hall and Amy Ullman and guest authors from National Association of County and City Health Officials discuss a new report of key informant interviews on how local health departments support tick-related issues.
LEARN: Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals Training – Take this training from CDC and partners to learn about using integrated pest management to address public health pests and vectors that spread pathogens, including Zika virus and others.
Check Out New Reference Guide from the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response for Food Safety Programsexternal icon – Use the Food Safety Programs Reference Guide to learn more about current governmental food safety efforts, including surveillance, response, data information sharing, and more.
Learn How Data Can Improve Food Safetyexternal icon – Listen to this podcast hosted by the Association of Food and Drug Officials featuring CDC’s Dr. Laura Brown to learn how data can bring focus to outreach for the most impact.
September Is National Food Safety Month – Celebrate National Food Safety Month with these resources for food safety programs! Check out our environmental assessment training and surveillance system, along with additional resources from CDC and partners.
Food Safety: Environmental Health Data Matterexternal icon – CDC’s LCDR Beth Wittry and guest author James Mack (Wisconsin Department of Agriculture) discuss how CDC is working to help food safety programs conduct and report environmental assessments.
Why Investigators Did or Did Not Do Environmental Assessments for Restaurant Outbreaks – Learn more in our review of more than 400 outbreaks reported to CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS).
Find Out How Restaurants Can Be Ready for Customers with Food Allergies – Dining out can be difficult for people with food allergies because they must rely on restaurant staff to properly prepare their allergen-free meals. Learn more in our blog.
Read Our Studies on Food Allergies and Restaurants – Understanding how restaurants address food allergies can help to reduce the risk of food allergic reactions in restaurants. Learn more: How Restaurants Address Food Allergies and Food Allergies: Knowledge and Attitudes of Restaurant Managers and Staff.
Download Posters for Restaurant Staff and Managers – The Rhode Island Department of Health, a partner in our Environmental Health Specialists Network, designed these posters for restaurant staff and managers. Find out What You Need To Know pdf icon[PDF – 87 KB]external icon about food allergies and How To Recognize and Respond pdf icon[PDF – 606 KB]external icon to food allergy reactions.
Outbreak Investigations of Restaurants, 2014–2016 – Learn about outbreaks and gaps we found in retail food safety practices and outbreak investigations reported to CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS).
Improve Your Food Safety Program with NEARS – Use CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System to capture environmental assessment data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations to improve your food safety programs.
Hot Tub Displays and Legionella Risk: Guidance for Environmental and Public Health Practitioners – Learn how to minimize risk for Legionella exposure from hot tub displays at temporary events (for example, fairs, home and garden shows, conventions).
Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease through a New Learning Opportunity: A Training on Legionella Water Management Programsexternal icon – CDC’s Candis Hunter, Shawn McMullen, and Chris Edens and guest authors discuss a new training on creating building water management plans to prevent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.
Did You Miss CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds on Legionnaires’ Disease? – Check out the archived presentation and learn how to prevent the disease with effective water management programs.
Looking for More Legionella Prevention Resources? – Explore more CDC resources for environmental health professionals.
Legionnaires’ Disease at a Hotel in Missouri, 2015: The Importance of Environmental Health Expertise in Understanding Water Systemsexternal icon – Read how a comprehensive environmental assessment of a hotel’s water systems proved crucial to identifying maintenance issues in an outbreak.
Address Specific Swimmer Health Issues with Mini-MAHCs – Specific public health issues addressed in the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) are often spread across multiple chapters. Mini-MAHCs aggregate the code and annex language into more concise documents related to a health issue.
Use CDC’s Inspection Tools to Reduce Risk of Illness from Pools – CDC’s model inspection tools protect public health from illness and injury. Tools include the Aquatic Facility Inspection Report and Cheat Sheet and MAHC Cross-reference Guide for the Inspection Report.
Safe Water Program Improvement e-Learning Series (SWPI) – Take CDC’s training for safer well water through stronger public health programs using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.
Exposure to Contaminants Among Private Well Users in North Carolina: Enhancing the Role of Public Healthexternal icon – CDC’s Max Zarate-Bermudez and grantee Crystal Lee Pow Jackson discuss how the North Carolina Department of Health worked to improve services to private well users.
Tribal Drinking Water Program Improvement – Learn how CDC and partners worked to build tribal drinking water program capacity using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.
Safe Water for Community Health Updateexternal icon – CDC’s Shannon McClenahan and Brian Hubbard share examples of how grantees increased well sampling, quantified risk, enhanced and enforced policies, and developed and improved educational and outreach programs for private wells and other federally unregulated drinking water sources and systems.
Learn about Priority EH Practice Challenges and Research Needs – Read the second workforce assessment articleexternal icon from CDC and partners and learn how the findings were determined in the visual abstract.
Tips and Tools to Get Your Environmental Health Message Acrossexternal icon – Communicators from CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health discuss simple ways to improve communication with the public and other audiences.
New Environmental Health Workforce Assessment Results – Check out key findings from Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision, and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health (UNCOVER EH) and learn more about the assessment.
Learn Why Environmental Health Services Are So Important – Watch this video to learn how environmental health services work to protect public health. Also available in Spanish!
Fill Performance Gaps with Our Resources Organized By Essential Service – This list provides our resources indexed by the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services. Find tools to help your program fill performance gaps and contribute to larger performance improvement efforts such as voluntary public health accreditation.
The Role of Local Environmental Health Departments in Tick-Related Activities and Services: Key Findings pdf icon[PDF – 168 KB]external icon – Discover what local environmental health professionals across the country are doing in tick control, surveillance, and public education in a new assessment from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals (VCEHP) – Learn about using integrated pest management to address public health pests and vectors that spread Zika virus and other pathogens. Available for CE credits through the National Environmental Health Association.
Learn more with these Tick Surveillance and Lyme Disease Toolkits created by CDC and NACCHO – The tick surveillance toolkitexternal icon provides information on surveillance of tick species and pathogens found in them. The toolkit on Lyme Diseaseexternal icon includes educational slide sets and handouts.
Tick Talk: Keeping Environmental Health Up With Current Trendsexternal icon – CDC’s Christine Vanover and Andrew Ruiz discuss two federal initiatives that could enhance vector control services in the nation and CDC resources and tools for environmental health professionals and programs.
EH Emergency Preparedness and Response
Environmental Health Shelter Assessments: Using Tools to Protect Occupants after Disastersexternal icon – CDC’s Kelsey McDavid and Miguel Cruz highlight the updated Shelter Assessment Tool and how it and other resources can be used to help environmental health professionals to evaluate and document potential health threats in shelters.
Online Awareness Training – The EHTER Awareness Level course addresses the role of environmental health responders in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies and disasters.
Emergency Water Supply Planning Guide for Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities – Develop an Emergency Water Supply Plan to prepare for, respond to, and recover from an interruption of the normal water supply in health facilities.
Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters – Use these key messages to develop products for diverse audiences before, during, and after a hurricane, flood, or similar disaster.
Natural Disasters and Severe Weather – Explore more resources on severe weather and disasters like earthquakes, extreme heat, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and more.
Emergency Response Training in California: Piloting the Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response Operations Course in a Local Environmental Health Departmentexternal icon – Guest Authors Marcy Barnett and Bernice Zaidel and CDC’s Martin Kalis discuss a unique training opportunity for the San Diego County environmental health department to practice specific scenarios in preparation for a local emergency.
Now What? A Tool to Help Commercial Fishermen Encountering Sea-Disposed Chemical Munitionsexternal icon – CDC’s CDR Danielle Mills introduces a new tool to protect the health of those who encounter chemical munitions at sea during commercial fishing, clamming, and dredging operations.
Benefits of Collaboration between a County Health Department and a Local University in North Carolinaexternal icon – CDC author Max Zarate-Bermudez and guest author Samantha Dye discuss how the health department in Gaston County, North Carolina, collaborated with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to help private well users reduce exposures to potential contaminants in their water.
PHF Partners with Tribes to Support Tribal Drinking Water Program Improvementexternal icon – Read this blog about how CDC and the Public Health Foundation are providing technical assistance and training for tribal drinking water programs around the country.
Get Ready for SepticSmart Week, September 17-21, 2018external icon – Download EPA’s Free SepticSmart Outreach Toolkit for downloadable, printable materials targeted to homeowners, including infographics and guides, web graphics and social media messages, and editable proclamation templates for community leaders.
Environmental Assessment Training Series (EATS): Practical Training for Food Safety Officials Hungry to Enhance Environmental Assessment Skillsexternal icon – CDC authors Erik Coleman and Laura Brown discuss CDC’s free online training to improve competency with conducting environmental assessments as part of foodborne illness outbreak investigations.
Announcing the 2018 Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) – Find updated content on disinfection and water quality, lifeguarding and bather supervision, risk management and safety, emerging public health topics, and continuing challenges for public pools and hot tubs/spas.
Advancing Public Health Departments’ Legionnaires’ Disease Prevention Efforts through the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreementexternal icon – CDC authors LCDR Candis Hunter, CDR Laura Cooley, and CDR Jasen Kunz discuss how CDC has improved state and local capacity for Legionella outbreak response and prevention activities.
Take CDC’s New Training for Investigating Foodborne Illness Outbreaks – Practice applying environmental assessment skills in multiple outbreak scenarios.
New Studies on Retail Deli Practices – Reduce the risk of Listeria monocytogenes and other germs that cause foodborne illness and outbreaks by following practices from How Retail Delis Refrigerate Food and How Often Retail Delis Inspect Their Slicers.
Organizational Characteristics of Local Health Departments and Environmental Health Services and Activities – Learn about the association between characteristics of local health departments and delivery of environmental health services in their communities.
Why Are Environmental Health Services So Important? – Watch this new video to learn how environmental health services protect public health.
FREE Resources Organized by the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services – Find tools to help your program fill performance gaps with our list of resources indexed by the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services. Also, download our graphic illustrating the 10 Essential Services from the Public Health Image Library!
A Web-Based Review of Environmental Health Vector Control Services in the United Statesexternal icon – Authors Andrew Ruiz, Christine Vanover, Alexis Parale, and CDR Justin Gerding discuss the role of environmental health in vector control services and how programs can strengthen their capacity.
March 11-17 Is National Groundwater Awareness Week – Explore our private well resources for environmental health programs.
Capturing Data on Contributing Factors to Outbreaks With the National Environmental Assessment Reporting System – In this column, CDR Adam Kramer, Maggie Byrne, and Elaine Curtiss discuss how contributing factors help CDC and partners understand how and why outbreaks occur.
Infographic on the Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) program – Learn how CDC works with health departments to improve well water programs.
Reducing Legionnaires’ Disease in Public Spas pdf icon[PDF – 117 KB] – Learn how CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code offers critical guidance for reducing the risk of Legionnaires’ disease in public aquatic facilities in this column in ASHRAE Journal.
Safe Water Program Improvement e-Learning Series – Take CDC’s training for safer well water through stronger public health programs using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.
Improving Safe Drinking Water Programs One Essential Service at a Time: Closing the Water Quality Gap pdf icon[PDF – 367 KB] – Guest columnist Greg Miao from ChangeLab Solutions explains how policy has been used to address federally unregulated drinking water.
Can Restaurant Managers Talk with Sick Workers? 3 Things Restaurant Managers Need To Know – Managers need to know if their workers are sick so they can decide if they should handle food. Do the Food Code, HIPAA, and ADA address the topic? Read our new fact sheet pdf icon[PDF – 175 KB] to find out!
Food Safety Program Successes in Providing the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services pdf icon[PDF – 247 KB] – Most state and local health departments in the United States have food safety programs that deliver important services. In this column, CDC’s Francoise Tete, Laura Brown, and CDR Justin Gerding discuss a recent survey of local and state food safety programs to learn about how they apply the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.
Success Stories From CDC’s Safe Water for Community Health Grantees pdf icon[PDF – 318 KB] – CDC’s Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) program helps state and county health agencies improve their safe drinking water programs for household wells. In this column, CDC’s Brian Hubbard discusses grantee success stories from the first year of the Safe WATCH.
New Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response (EHTER) Course – CDC’s popular awareness-level course has been revamped in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Factors that Contribute to Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness – Explore our new fact sheet of findings and recommendations based on data from nearly 300 outbreaks reported to CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS).
Infographic on Contributing Factors – Learn about the top 4 contributing factors to foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants.
Food Safety Innovations in Federal Guidelines pdf icon[PDF – 402 KB] – The Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities apply to concession and vending operations at federal facilities. In this column, CDC fellows Lauren Lipcsei and Taylor Radke discuss how innovative criteria could further reduce the risk of foodborne illness in federal foodservice operations.
Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision, and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health pdf icon[PDF – 208 KB] – Recent public health crises are examples of diseases and events requiring a response from a prepared, sufficient, and equipped environmental health (EH) workforce. In this column, CDC’s CDR Justin Gerding and partners from NEHA and Baylor University describe an initiative to understand EH professional demographics, education and training, experience, areas of practice, and current and future needs.
Tools To Drive Quality Improvement of Vector Control Services. pdf icon[PDF – 624 KB] – Quality improvement efforts are important for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental health programs and activities. In this column, LCDR Justin Gerding from CDC and Vanessa Lamers from the Public Health Foundation discuss how a population health driver diagram can capture and detail specific activities to address community health objectives.
Minimizing Risk of Illness and Injury at Public Aquatic Facilities by Maximizing the Power of Aquatic Facility Inspection Data. pdf icon[PDF – 336 KB] – When environmental health practitioners enforce state or local codes during pool inspections, they prevent illness and injuries at public aquatic facilities. In this column, CDC’s Michele Hlavsa, CDR Jasen Kunz, and Michael Beach explain how health departments can use pool inspection data to improve aquatic health and safety.
New CDC Study on Food Allergies and Restaurants – Read the plain language summary of this study, including CDC recommendations to help restaurants reduce the risk of food allergic reactions. Check out the full article about this study in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Using the National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) To Enhance Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigations in New York City (NYC) Restaurants. pdf icon[PDF – 224 KB] – Foodborne illness outbreak investigations identify and correct the environmental cause(s) of the outbreak so more people do not become ill. In this column, guest authors from the NYC Health Department explain how CDC’s NEARS provides tools for data collection and reporting to assist health departments with identifying causes of outbreaks in their communities.
Food Safety Study Plain Language Summaries – Read plain language summaries of food safety studies and recommendations from our Environmental Health Specialists Network.
CDC Takes Action to Improve the Reporting of Environmental Assessment Data During Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigations. pdf icon[PDF – 371 KB] – Environmental assessments are an essential component of foodborne illness outbreak investigations. In this article, CDC’s Erik Coleman discusses NEARS, a surveillance system that collects environmental assessment data from outbreak investigations.
Vector Control for Environmental Health Professionals (VCEHP) – Register today for our new online training on using integrated pest management (IPM) to control vectors that spread pathogens, including Zika virus.
Legionnaires’ Disease Health Reportexternal icon – Read this new report about a 2015 outbreak associated with cooling towers in New York City.
New Environmental Health (EH) Workforce Assessment – Learn about our initiative (UNCOVER EH) with the National Environmental Health Association and Baylor University to assess the current state and future trends in environmental health.
NCEH Blog on Ill Food Workers – Read this blog about preventing sick restaurant workers from working, which is critical to reducing foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.
New Study on Restaurant-Associated Outbreaksexternal icon – Food workers are a main cause of foodborne disease outbreaks in restaurants. Read about the sources and causes of these outbreaks based on 15 years of data reported to CDC.
A Performance Management Initiative for Local Health Department Vector Control Programsexternal icon – Read the article about an adaptable process for assessing and improving the performance of your vector control program.
New Study on What Restaurant Staff Think about Food Allergies – Our Environmental Health Specialist Network (EHS-Net) study found that restaurant staff were familiar with food allergies and had positive attitudes about accommodating customers with food allergies. However, we found important gaps.
New Study on Microwave Cooking Practices in Restaurants – CDC EHS-Net grantee in Minnesota examined microwave cooking practices of restaurants and other food service establishments in their state.
National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) Summary Report pdf icon[PDF – 445 KB] – Our first NEARS Summary Report provides information on outbreak characteristics, investigations, primary agents, contributing factors, and establishment characteristics. This information is useful for learning about how outbreaks occur and how to prevent them in the future.
Assessing Food Service Regulations and the Correlation with Prevention of Norovirus Outbreaksexternal icon – A new article in the Journal of Food Protection examines state adoption of key Food Code provisions and their correlation with norovirus outbreaks.
Infographic on Kitchen Manager Certification pdf icon[PDF – 379 KB] – Learn how certified kitchen managers can improve restaurant food safety and save money.
Legionnaires’ Disease Resources for Environmental Health Professionals – Explore Legionella resources for environmental health practitioners, including a Vital Signs report and infographic, environmental sampling videos, toolkit for developing a water management plan, and more.
Safe Water for Community Health (Safe WATCH) – About 1 in 9 American residents get their drinking water from a private well, and about 1 in 5 sampled private wells were found to be contaminated at levels considered unsafe. CDC encourages health departments to strengthen and improve their drinking water programs to keep communities safe. Our new drinking water improvement program has steps to improve your drinking water program and free tools and resources to help.
New CDC Study: How Often Retail Delis Clean Their Slicers – What percentage of delis clean their slicers as often as FDA recommends to prevent germs from spreading? Check out our new study, published in CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and our plain language summary to find out!
EHS Resources Organized by 10 Essential Services – We are excited to announce our latest addition to the EHS website! Find tools here to help your program fill performance gaps and contribute to larger performance improvement efforts such as voluntary public health accreditation.
CDC Report Highlights State Food Safety Practices – These reports highlight the status of state public health policies and practices designed to impact important public health issues, including food safety. Read the reports and check out the new food safety indicator on state adoption of selected foodborne disease-related provisions from the 2013 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code.
Rodent Control Program Profiles – Read these profiles describing best practices, challenges, and technical assistance needs of local rodent control programs (produced in collaboration with the National Association of County and City Health Officials).
Preventing Foodborne Illness Infographic – Download our new infographic pdf icon[PDF – 2 MB] to learn how we help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks by understanding the environmental factors contributing to them. Note: This infographic has been revised to clarify and improve one of the graphics.
Acute Gastroenteritis Illness on Cruise Ships – The rate of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) illness on cruise ships has decreased over time, yet people often associate cruise ships with these illnesses. Read more from CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program in a new MMWR article or on VSP’s companion webpage.
Legionella Website with Videos & Other Outbreak Resources – CDC has developed a number of resources on this website to help health departments investigate legionellosis outbreaks in their area, including 6 short environmental investigation videos, an environmental assessment form, sampling procedures, and other Legionella outbreak investigation resources for health departments. Also, check out December 2015’s JEH cover story, Legionnaire’s Disease Outbreak at a Long-Term Care Facility [PDF – 689 KB] pdf icon, for more information on a recent outbreak and how investigators resolved the situation.
Keeping Cool Under Pressure: NYC Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak, Summer 2015 – This blog post discusses the work of a team of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and environmental health experts as they responded to this summer’s outbreak of Legionella, the largest ever recorded in New York City. In response to this outbreak, the city passed new legislation that requires registration of all cooling towers and defines maintenance standards. The collaborative efforts of public health professionals from city, state, and federal agencies made it possible for this outbreak to be identified, solved, and contained as quickly as possible. CDC’s Environmental Health Services Branch was instrumental in the environmental investigation.
The Role of Environmental Health Programs in Public Health Accreditationexternal icon – The National Association of County and City Health Officials, with funding from EHSB, interviewed local health departments about the steps they take and types of environmental public health documentation they used in seeking accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board. This free, 2-page PDF shares the results, lessons learned, and best practice recommendations.
E-Learning on Environmental Assessment of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks – Practice skills in an interactive virtual environment and learn to conduct environmental assessments as part of outbreak investigations. Also, watch our video about this innovative training!
Food Safety Centers of Excellence – Six state health departments and their academic partners are providing in-person and online resourcesexternal icon, training, and assistance in tracking foodborne illness and investigating outbreaks. This assistance is designed to strengthen foodborne illness surveillance and improve food safety in your community.
Best Food Cooling Practices for Restaurants – EHS-Net study examines the food cooling practices of 420 randomly selected restaurants to assess current practices and to provide recommendations for cooling foods more effectively to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.
Searching for E. coli – In 2006, a restaurant chain received spinach contaminated with E. coli, which made many people ill. Read the NCEH blog entry about how our scientists found out what caused a multistate outbreak of E. coli on spinach in 2006.
Acute Gastrointestinal Illness Following a Prolonged Community-Wide Water Emergencyexternal icon – New publication examines the association between water service disruptions and acute gastrointestinal illness.
EnvPHPS Logic Model for Drinking Water Programs – New tool with recommended strategies for public health department drinking water programs and activities to improve programmatic performance using the 10 Essential Environmental Public Health Services.
Controlling Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)external icon – Study reports results of a successful campaign to eradicate the brown dog tick and reduce RMSF in an Arizona community with high RMSF-related fatalities.
Managerial Practices Regarding Workers Working while Ill – EHS-Net publication describes restaurant policies for sick workers, what happens when managers work when sick, and what happens when workers work when sick.
Improving Environmental Public Health Services Performance to Meet Community Needs pdf icon[PDF – 1.35 MB] – New guidance document describes performance improvement resources and tools and explains how those tools are used to produce results that can be integrated into broader public health department performance improvement initiatives.
Restaurant Manager and Worker Food Safety Certification and Knowledge – Article examines the relationships among kitchen manager and worker food safety certification, food safety knowledge, restaurant and manager characteristics, and foodborne illness risk factors observed in restaurants.
Restaurant Manager and Worker Food Safety Certification and Knowledge – Article examines the relationships among kitchen manager and worker food safety certification, food safety knowledge, restaurant and manager characteristics, and foodborne illness risk factors observed in restaurants.
Irrigation Water Issues Potentially Related to 2006 Multistate E. coli Outbreak on Spinach – In 2006, a restaurant chain received spinach contaminated with E. coli, which made many people ill. Environmental health investigators traced the spinach back to one farm’s irrigation system.
Vector Control Program Performance Improvementexternal icon – Information about CDC funding to support performance assessment and improvement at vector control programs provided by state, tribal, local, and territorial public health departments.
Blog on Integrated Pest Management – Vince Radke talks about EHS’ integrated pest management program. EHS works with state and county health officials to control pests in restaurants. Information these officials learn through EHS’ programs is typically passed on to others in the restaurant industry.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Rodeo Project – In 2012, CDC began working in Arizona to control Rocky Mountain spotted fever after an outbreak of the vectorborne disease. CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases led the overall agency response, and EHS helped develop and implement an integrated pest management system to control the disease-transmitting ticks that were spread by the community dogs.
Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Manmade Chlorinated Lake–Tarrant County, Texas, 2008 pdf icon[PDF – 317 KB] – Article highlighting the importance of close cooperation among epidemiology, laboratory, and environmental health colleagues in response to recreational water illness outbreaks.
Restaurant Safety: What You Should Know – Going out to eat? Keep these things in mind when choosing the right restaurant for you and your family.
EHS-Net Plain Language Summary on Restaurant Food Cooling Practices – No time to read journal articles detailing EHS-Net findings? The new summary of the 2013 food cooling study highlights the study findings and recommendations.
Restaurant Food Cooling Practices – New EHS-Net article includes quantitative data on temperature monitoring practices; refrigeration cooling practices, and cooling food temperatures.