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
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.
- Read our blog about how local health departments can use environmental assessments to improve food safety.
- Learn why investigators did or did not conduct such assessments with our plain language summary report.
Take EATS: CDC’s Course for Conducting Environmental Assessments
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).
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
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?
Check out more of our food safety tools, training, and research for environmental health professionals.
Explore more CDC resources, including
- Graphics and social media messages on how to “Be a Food Safety Superhero.”
- Information about foods linked to food poisoning and tips on how to prevent food poisoning.
- Posterimage icon on protecting yourself and others from norovirus.
- Graphic video on how a very small amount of norovirus on your food can make you sick.
Find tools from our partners
- Chefs, Cooks, and Caterers: Cook Chicken Liver Like It’s Chicken (It Is) Infographic (CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] Food Safety and Inspection Service)
- Educational Posters for Retail Food Employeesexternal icon (Food and Drug Administration)
- FDA Retail Program Standards Blog Seriesexternal icon (National Association of County and City Health Officials, NACCHO)
- Foodborne Outbreak Response Resourcesexternal icon (Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response)
- Food Safety Products and Materials for Regulatory and Industry Professionalsexternal icon (National Environmental Health Association)
- Posters on Food Safety, Hepatitis A, and Norovirusexternal icon (Water Quality and Health Council)
- Retail Program Standards Mentorship Programexternal icon and videosexternal icon (NACCHO, accepting applications through October 15, 2019)
- Washing Raw Poultry: Our Science, Your Choiceexternal icon (USDA)