Food Safety

Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI) Credential

Who Should Apply?

(NEHA’s) Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI)  credential: image of chef and investigator

Are you interested in utilizing environmental health principles and food safety knowledge in collaboration with outbreak response partners to assess foodborne illness risks? If yes, this is the credential for you. The CFOI will prepare you to also perform environmental assessments, identify contributing factors and antecedents, and implement control measures to prevent the spread of foodborne illness and protect the public. Potential job opportunities after obtaining the credential include: Environmental Health Specialist, Food Safety Specialist, Epidemiologist, Public Health Officer, Health Inspector, and Quality Assurance Manager. These are just a few of the professions that this credential will open doors to.


Eligibility Requirements

  • Degree Track
    • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, with 30 semester hours (45 quarter hours) of science and a college level math class; AND 
    • Two years of experience in environmental health, food safety, or a related field 
    • “In-Training” Status: If you are applying under the degree track, but do not yet have the required work experience, you may apply for an “In-Training” Status registration. You will have three (3) years to acquire the necessary experience to transfer your registration to full-credential status. If you do not acquire the necessary experience in three years, your “In-Training” status will expire. In order to obtain the credential, you will need to once again apply and be found eligible to take the exam. 
  • Experience Track
    • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, with 5 years of experience; OR 
    • Associate’s degree with 15 semester hours of science (one course must be microbiology) and 7 years of experience in environmental health, food safety, or a related field


Member: US $260

Non-member: US $405



This information is a brief overview of the eligibility requirements. For complete details, please see the Candidate Information Brochure (PDF). 

A Professional Credential From NEHA

Since 1937 NEHA has been leading the way for practitioners to achieve a set of defined competencies, evidenced through testing and maintained through continuing education. These benchmarks of excellence have become the gold standard in recognizing those who are uniquely equipped to handle the wide breadth of environmental health issues. NEHA’s long-standing history in credentialing means that our standards are high and that individuals with a NEHA credential have mastered a body of knowledge and acquired practical experience to perform relevant work responsibilities.

As an impartial, third-party endorsement of an individual’s professional knowledge and experience, a credential stands in support of a candidate’s resume and professional references. It serves as verification that a professional has achieved a baseline level of competency in his or her subject matter.

EH Topics: 

Food Safety and Emergency Preparedness

NEHA Member helping with Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico Story:

These resources are from the CDC, EPA, and PAHO created to assist EH specialist with food safety and shelters after a hurricane or mass flooding event.


Links: ​

These resources are part of an FDA course created to address concerns related to food safety after events such as flooding, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

For additional information, please contact


Hurricane and Flooding Disasters

Flood Recovery

Resources to Protect and Restore Community Health

When flood waters recede, communities are often left with contaminated water supplies, nonfunctioning septic tanks, mold, increased vectors and pests,  spoiled food, and temporary shelters and housing.  Ensuring the proper information reaches community members and supports environmental health professionals  is essential in the efforts to restore communities and protect public health. The following resources provide best practices around flood recovery related to environmental health.

Floods and Public Health

CDC Water Sanitation & Hygiene for Flood Waters

Hospital and Healthcare Facilities

AHRQ Hospital Assessment and Recovery Guide (PDF)

Community Resources

CDC Flood Water Home Clean-up

Drinking Water

U.S. EPA Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water

Private Wells

Minnesota Department of Health Well and Water System Disinfection for Private Drinking Water Wells

Septic Systems

U.S. EPA Septic Systems - What to Do After a Flood


U.S. EPA Mold Clean-up After Floods

Food Safety

FDA Food and Water Safety During Power Outages and Floods

Emergency Preparedness & Response Training 

CDC Environmental Health Training in Emergency Response Awareness level (online) and Operations level (in-person) training.

Flood Recovery Worker and Volunteer Safety

CDC Worker Safety After Floods

OSHA Natural Disaster Recovery

Vector Control

Pan-American Health Organization Vector Control in Disaster Situations

Infection Prevention

Infection Prevention and Control for Shelters During Disasters (PDF) by APIC Emergency Preparedness Committee

Rebuilding Homes

Rebuild Healthy Homes: Guide to Post-disaster Restoration for a Safe and Healthy Home (PDF) by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes

Storm Safety  This site provides storm preparedness, safety after the storm, and rebuilding safely after a storm information. This is provided courtesy of Underwriters Laboratories (UL)