Competencies for Environmental Health Professionals Who Detect, Investigate, and Respond to Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

July/August 2022 issue of the Journal of Environmental HealthAbstract

Environmental health (EH) professionals are essential to foodborne illness outbreak investigations, although many do not receive formal training in this area. We present a competency framework that reflects the comprehensive set of skills desired for EH professionals engaged in foodborne illness outbreak detection, investigation, and response at state and local public health agencies. We describe findings of a web-based survey that assessed these competencies and identified training priorities among practicing EH professionals, as well as an EH competency training road map. The competencies were developed with input from EH professionals from academia and local, state, and national EH agencies. Survey results indicate that the competencies are relevant and highlight opportunities for further training. The training road map is a tool to connect EH professionals with a curated list of existing trainings by competency. The competencies and road map are publicly available and free, and can be used for workforce, curricula, and resource development.


Speaker / Author: 
Michelle R. Torok, MPH, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health
Alice E. White, MPH, Colorado School of Public Health
Sharon Thompson, MPH, DVM, University of Tennessee
Sheri Pugh, MEd, University of Tennessee
Katie Garman, MPH, CHES, Tennessee Department of Health
Madhu Anand, DrPH, New York State Department of Health
Hillary Booth, MPH, Washington State Department of Health
Elaine J. Scallan Walter, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health
Month Year: 
July 2022
Page #: 
Publication Month: 
July/August 2022
EH Topics: