National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)

Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI)


Credential: Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI)  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI) credential is an intermediate-level certification for food professionals who assess foodborne illness risks. CFOIs utilize environmental health principles and food safety knowledge in collaboration with outbreak response partners. Professionals who pursue the CFOI include Environmental Health Specialists, Food Safety Specialists, Epidemiologists, Public Health Officers, Health Inspectors, and Quality Assurance Managers. CFOIs identify contributing factors and antecedents to foodborne illness, implement control measures to prevent the spread of foodborne illness and protect the public from foodborne illness. Candidates must take a written exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI)

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

Attainability:    medium

Eligibility Requirements (View Details)

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 7 years
  • Education: Associates
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Note: This credential may have multiple options for a Service member to meet eligibility requirements. Requirements listed here are based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

Exam Requirements (View Details)

  • Exam
  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Exam Administration (View Details)

  • In-person exam
  • Remote proctored on-line exam
  • Third-party test vendor

RECERTIFICATION SUMMARY

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)

720 South Colorado Blvd.
Suite 1000-N
Denver, CO  80246-1925

Phone: (303) 756-9090

Fax: (303) 691-9490
Email: credentialing@neha.org

Track 1:

  • 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

Track 2:

  • 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

The Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Candidates and those who earn the CFOI are required to uphold and abide by the NEHA Code of Ethics.

Written Exam

  • Detecting Outbreaks (5.6%)
    • Collect Complaints (2.4%)
    • Review Complaint Log to Determine if there are Possible Associated Foodborne Illnesses (1.6%)
    • Link Complaint Information with Other Data Sources (1.6%)
  • Preparing for Investigation (13.6%)
    • Review Available Information (2.4%)
    • Determine Scope of Investigation (2.4%)
    • Inform Agency Administration (0.8%)
    • Assemble Outbreak Team (0.8%)
    • Convene Outbreak Team (0.8%)
    • Develop Response Plan (4.8%)
    • Gather Requisite Equipment (1.6%)
  • Contributing to Epidemiologic Investigation (7.2%)
    • Develop Questionnaires (2.4%)
    • Conduct Interviews (2.4%)
    • Search for Additional Cases (2.4%)
  • Performing Environmental Assessment (32%)
    • Review Facility Inspection and Complaint Reports (1.6%)
    • Meet with Person-In-Charge (1.6%)
    • Conduct Walk-Through (6.4%)
    • Interview Employees (3.2%)
    • Conduct Food Flow Analysis (7.2%)
    • Formulate Root-Cause Analysis (1.6%)
    • Document Evidence (3.2%)
    • Conduct Exit Interview (4%)
    • Implement Interventions (3.2%)
  • Collecting Samples (7.2%)
    • Determine Sampling Plan (1.6%)
    • Preparing to Sample (1.6%)
    • Collect Samples (2.4%)
    • Package and Transport Samples (1.6%)
  • Reviewing Investigation Findings (12.8%)
    • Compile and Share Findings with Partners (3.2%)
    • Evaluate Investigation Evidence (8%)
    • Develop Communication Plan (1.6%)
  • Conducting Product Tracing (4.8%)
    • Identify Necessity of Product Tracing (3.2%)
    • Conduct Product Tracing (1.6%)
  • Implementing Control Measures (13.6%)
    • Identify Control Measures (6.4%)
    • Implement Control Measures (4%)
    • Evaluate Control Measure Effectiveness (3.2%)
  • Concluding Actions (3.2%)
    • Create Final Reports (1.6%)
    • Conduct After-Action Report (1.6%)

Exam Preparation Resources

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI) examination:

An additional resource is O'Reilly Learning Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources section on the Related Sites page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Testing Information

  • Exam Administration

    Credential exams may be administered in-person at a testing site, proctored on-line remotely, or have options for both. If an exam is administered through a test vendor, the third-party test vendor box will be checked. The following test administration options apply to the Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI) credential where checked:

    • In-person exam
    • Remote proctored on-line exam
    • Third-party test vendor
  • For more information on the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) testing process, visit the agency website.

RECERTIFICATION

Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Certified Foodborne Outbreak Investigator (CFOI) credential has the following recertification information:

NEHA certifications are awarded for 2-year periods. To remain certified, certification holders must:
  • Earn and submit a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education every two years; and
  • Submit renewal fees for the CFOI credential every two years; and
  • Agree to continue to abide by and uphold the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Policy and the policies of the credential program.

In Demand

This certification is considered in demand. The U.S. Department of Labor sponsored CareerOneStop's analysis indicates the certification is frequently mentioned in online job postings.

Click for external link to CareerOneStop's Credentials Center.

COOL Bucks

See your installation Education Service Officer for credential exam information and coordinating instructions.

COOL Summary

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COOL Summary

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COOL Summary

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Some

Credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (at least one critical task but less than 80%)

Most

Credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%)

Other

Credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience

CA Eligible

This certification is eligible for CA.

Star

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improves the MOS technical proficiency.

Skill Level

The Skill Level reflects the level, based on MOS training and/or experience, the Soldier should be the most prepared to successfully earn the credential. See the Table Legend for details about each level.

Proponent Funded

Indicates the credential may have funding through the MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

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Navy Bucks

Credential voucher or reimbursement for credential exam, re-certification, or maintenance fee has been approved for payment through the Navy's Credential Program Office. To get a voucher request form, click Menu at the top of any page, then click "2 Complete Voucher and Apply" under Credentialing Steps.

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Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted E1 through E4

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E5 through E6

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E7 through E9

Early Career

1-3 years experience; Enlisted “A” School through E5

Mid Career

4-10 years experience; Enlisted E6 through E7

Late Career

10+ years experience; Enlisted E8 through E9

Early Career

1-6 years experience; Officer O1 through O2

Mid Career

6-12 years experience; Officer O3 through O5

Late Career

12+ years experience; Officer O6 and Above

LaDR

This credential is recommended on the rating Learning and Development Roadmap (LaDR) for Sailors currently in the pay grade indicated on the icon, BUT MAY BE TAKEN BY SAILORS IN OTHER PAY GRADES.

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GI Bill®

Reimbursement for exam fees has been approved for payment through the GI Bill.

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ANAB (ANSI)

This credential has been accredited by ANAB (ANSI).

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ICAC

This credential has been accredited by ICAC.

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ABSNC

This credential has been accredited by ABSNC.

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NCCA

This credentialing program has been accredited by NCCA.

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IAS

This credential has been accredited by IAS.

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Low

May be difficult to attain: minimum education requirement is a Bachelor's degree, and/or minimum experience is 10 or more years.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

Medium

Moderate ease of attainment: minimum education requirement = Associate's and/or prerequisite and/or minimum experience = more than 2 years and less than 10 years of experience.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

High

Highly attainable: minimum education requirement = HS or less and/or minimum experience = 2 years or less experience and no additional requirements.

Note: In some cases “years of experience” refers to time actively on duty or while holding a certain occupation or prior certification and not always in consecutive calendar years. Additional years required for certain preliminary stages may not be included in this classification. For requirements measured in hours, 1080 hours was considered a year. For days, 365 days was considered a year. Please review all prerequisites and requirements for eligibility, and additional information for details.

MOS is Military Occupational Specialty
ASI is Additional Skill Identifier
WOMOS is Warrant Officer Military Occupational Specialty
AOC is Area Of Concentration Officer
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Updated: March 31, 2021
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