September 2018: Direct From CDC/Environmental Health Services
September 2018 Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 81, Number 2)
Editor's Note: NEHA strives to provide up-to-date and relevant information on environmental health and to build partnerships in the profession. In pursuit of these goals, we feature a column on environmental health services from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in every issue of the Journal.
In these columns, authors from CDC's Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, as well as guest authors, will share insights and information about environmental health programs, trends, issues, and resources. The conclusions of these columns are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of CDC.
Direct From CDC/EHS: Environmental Assessment Training Series (EATS): Practical Training for Food Safety Officials Hungry to Enhance Environmental Assessment Skills
Erik W. Coleman, MPH, Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Laura Brown, PhD, Water, Food, and Environmental Health Services Branch, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Foodborne illness is a significant public health problem in the U.S. Annually, more than 800 foodborne illness outbreaks are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and most of these occur in retail food service establishments (e.g., restaurants). State and local health department investigations of outbreaks collect information valuable in preventing future outbreaks. Of particular value are the data collected during environmental assessments. Environmental assessments are focused on identifying the environmental causes of outbreaks (also known as contributing factors and environmental antecedents). Findings from environmental assessments can be used to recommend effective interventions that stop ongoing foodborne illness outbreaks and prevent future outbreaks.
CDC developed the Environmental Assessment Training Series (EATS) to provide much needed training on environmental assessments for food safety officials, CDC's goal was to provide free online training that uses cutting edge e-learning technology to improve competency with conducting environmental assessments as part of foodborne illness outbreak investigations. This month's column highlights the EATS training program and its benefits.