Environmental assessments help identify the underlying environmental causes of foodborne illness outbreaks. Environmental Assessments find out how any why germs get into the environment and spread. Example:
- Restaurant worker did not wash hands between handling raw ground beef and salad (a ready to eat food).
- Worker had not been trained on proper hand washing.
Findings can be used to recomend steps to stop outbreaks and prevent future ones. Example:
- Recommend training workers on proper hand washing
Participating in NEARS can help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks associated with restaurants, banquet facilities, schools, and other institutions. NEARS is targeted to governmental federal, state, local, tribal and territorial food safety programs.
National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS)
Participate in NEARS, a surveillance system to capture environmental assessment data from foodborne illness outbreak investigations.
The ultimate goal for public health and food safety officials is not just stopping foodborne disease outbreaks once they occur, but preventing them from ever happening.
Despite the fact that thousands of employees have been trained in food safety around the world, millions have been spent globally on food safety research, and countless inspections and tests have been performed, food safety remains a significant public health challenge. Why is that?
Food safety is an ever-changing environment that may require us to go beyond traditional trainings and routine inspections.
- Federal, state, local, tribal and territorial food safety programs
Your program can access and use your NEARS data at any time to:
- Identify environmental causes of outbreaks in your jurisdiction
- Take follow-up action to reduce or prevent future foodborne illness outbreaks
- Evaluate your food safety program and make improvements based on established guidelines
- Develop or modify program policies or regulations
- Focus limited program resources on actions with the highest impact
Participate in NEARS