Recognizing the important role environmental health programs play in retail food safety, CDC created EHS-Net (pronounced S-Net) in 2000. EHS-Net is a collaborative forum of environmental health specialists that researches restaurant food safety policies and practices.

EHS-Net successes include strengthening provisions in the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code. These provisions help reduce norovirus and other causes of foodborne illness and outbreaks in restaurants and other retail food establishments.

EHS-Net partners

  • Research restaurant food safety policies and practices to help understand the environmental causes of foodborne illness and outbreaks.
  • Translate research findings into recommended food safety prevention practices, policies, and training using a systems-based approach.
  • Strengthen collaboration among epidemiology, laboratory, and environmental health programs and among local, state, and federal partners.

CDC website:



EHSNet offers a variety of resources to environmental health specialist working in the field. These include:

  • Tools from health department partners working to reduce foodborne illness and outbreaks
  • Printable study tools for EHS-Net research studies in packages of study protocols, data collection instruments, and data collection instructions.
  • Printable consumer foodborne illness complaint form
  • National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS)
  • Environmental Assessment Training Series (EATS)
  • Food manager certification

These can be accessed at

EHS-Net Publications