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.

Environmental Assessments: An Important Part of Food Safety

Food Safety Investigator speaking with chef.

An outbreak of food-related illness requires a quick response to stop it. Environmental assessments are an important part of outbreak investigations because they determine how and why germs got into the environment and spread to make people sick.

Environmental assessments provide information that can stop ongoing outbreaks and prevent them in the future.

Take EATS: CDC’s Course for Conducting Environmental Assessments

Screenshot from online training

The skills needed to investigate outbreaks of foodborne illness are different from those needed to inspect restaurants. Environmental Assessment Training Series 101 and 102 address environmental assessments and the critical role of environmental health staff.

What Are the Benefits of This Training?

  • It’s free and available anytime: Take the courses at your own pace in this online learning program.
  • It’s practical: Learn how to identify an outbreak’s environmental causes and appropriate control measures. And, practice conducting virtual environmental assessments.
  • You can earn continuing education units (CEUs) from CDC after completing the courses and final evaluation (optional).
Screenshot from EATS training.

Data drives decisions and ultimately affects interventions. NEARS [data] has been a valuable asset to inform food safety systems and target prevention efforts in the field.

James Mack, PhD, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture

Learn about James’ experience with NEARS.external icon

Sign Up for NEARS: CDC’s National Environmental Assessment Reporting System

NEARS captures environmental assessment data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations to help prevent outbreaks associated with restaurants and other food venues. You can access and use your NEARS data at any time to

  • Identify environmental causes of outbreaks.
  • Evaluate and improve your food safety program.
  • Focus on actions with the highest impact.

How Can I Learn More About NEARS?

Want More?

September is Food Safety Education Month. This promotional graphic shows a father being a food safety hero by refrigerating perishable food.

Check out more of our food safety tools, training, and research for environmental health professionals.

Explore more CDC resources, including

Find tools from our partners

Page last reviewed: August 30, 2019