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CFOI Exam Content & Scores

The CFOI exam consists of:

  • 140 questions; 125 are scored and 15 are unscored pilot questions
  • Candidates have two hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam

Review the nine different content areas the examination covers and the percentages allotted to each of those areas.

CFOI Exam Content

CFOI Exam Scores

The NEHA CFOI exam reports scores ranging from 0-900 with a scaled passing score of 650.

  • Scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly.
  • Exam results are mailed to the candidate within four to six weeks after the exam.
  • Those who pass the exam will receive a certificate, wallet card, and continuing education information.
  • Those who fail the exam will receive a score letter and a retake application. Candidates must wait at least 90 days from the initial test date before retaking the exam.
    • To retake the exam, submit the Retake Application and pay the Exam Fee and Computer Test Fee, if taking the exam at a Pearson VUE’s testing location.
    • The application and transcripts do not need to be submitted again.
    • The exam can be taken as many times as needed but candidates must wait at least 90 days before retaking the exam.

About Exam Scores

  • The raw passing score is mathematically transformed so that the passing scaled score equals 650. The scaling process is similar to the adjustment for Celsius and Fahrenheit temperature scales. While the values may differ, the temperatures are the same (e.g., water boils at the same temperature regardless of the scale used).
  • A scaled score is not a percentage score but a transformation of a raw score. Scaling is done to report comparable results when forms and raw passing scores vary over time.

Study References

Review the following study references that are recommended to assist the candidate in preparing for the CFOI examination.

  1. Epi-Ready, NEHA | Webpage
  2. Control of Communicable Disease Manual (CCDM) | NEHA Bookstore
  3. Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Outbreak Response (CIFOR Guidelines), CIFOR | Webpage
  4. Foodborne Illness Response Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Managers of Food Establishments (Industry Guidelines), CIFOR | Webpage
  5. Environmental Assessment Training Series (EATS), CDC | Webpage
  6. Basic epidemiology courses and case studies, CDC | Webpage
  7. FoodNet Atlas of Food Exposures, 2006-2007, CDC | PDF
  8. National Incident Management System, FEMA | Webpage
  9. Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), FEMA | PDF
  10. Bad Bug Book, FDA | PDF
  11. 2013 Food Code, FDA | PDF
  12. Procedures to Investigate Foodborne Illness Revised, IAFP | Webpage
  13. Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence, Colorado | Webpage
  14. Team approached to foodborne outbreak response, Louisiana State University | Webpage
  15. Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence Education Zone, Tennessee | Webpage
  16. Department of Health and Human Services Food Poisoning & Food-Borne Illnesses, North Carolina | Webpage
  17. 2012 Guidelines for Environmental Field Investigations of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks, North Carolina | PDF

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