What Is a Food Handler Card?
A food handler card is typically associated with food service industry employees. When you work in the foodservice industry, you need to have a food handler card to prove that you have taken training sessions on food safety, sanitation, and personal hygiene. You may also need a food handler card if you are involved in the preparation or handling of food. A food handler card is required to work in a restaurant or if you want to be a food prep worker. If you want to get your food handler card, you need to take a food safety course and pass a test. The food safety course you take and the test you take vary from state to state. It's often required for food service jobs like food delivery, bartending, or working in a restaurant. A food handler card is an important step in getting your first food service job. The card is all about food safety.
How And Where To Get Food Handlers Card - What You Need To Know
What Is a Food Handler Card?
A Food Handler card is also called a food handler's permit, license, or certificate. A food worker who works with unpackaged food, food equipment, or a food contact surface gets a food handler card on completing a food safety course that has been approved by a state or county in the United States. You are required to take a test and qualify to get a food handler card.
There are many food handler training providers that assist food workers by offering online courses on various food safety-related topics, such as food temperature, hand-washing, tool sanitization, allergens, among many more. Typically, the food safety card for food handlers is valid for 2-3 years and needs to be renewed upon expiry.
How To Get a Food Handler Card?
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) states that about 1 in 6 people in the United States fall sick by consuming food contaminated by a foodborne illness. Every year, around 50 million people in the United States endure illnesses caused by around 250 foodborne illnesses recognized by the CDC. Several states, counties, and local health services departments in the United States require new employees in the foodservice industry to obtain a food handler card that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI-accredited training courses prepare food workers to pass a rigorous assessment to meet industry requirements for Food Safety.
Working in the food industry requires food handlers to be certified
Zipfoodhandler will help you with the certification
Where Is a Food Handler Card Required?
Almost every state in the United Statesbut not allrequire food workers to obtain a food handler card within days of starting employment in a food facility. Individuals get a food handler card upon completing an ANSI-accredited food safety course. Several states have different requirements, depending upon the state you work in. However, typically most states have the same basic requirements for obtaining this card/certificate.
Although many states and counties do not require a mandatory food handler card, business owners or managers are advised to obtain a food handler card. Business owners have a social responsibility towards public health and environmental health to protect their customers from foodborne illnesses.
Many states health departments require food facilities to display their food handler cards on business premises at a noticeable place for food inspectors to easily view during an inspection.
Who Needs Food Handler Cards?
Individuals working in the following roles may need to obtain a food handler card-
- Front line cooks.
- Food workers in a food facility.
You can ask your employer if the position you will start working for needs a food handler card. You can also call your city or local health services provider to determine if you need a food handler card certificate.
How To Obtain a Food Handler Card?
Food Handlers that have a food handler card have good knowledge of the following;
The objectives, purpose, and benefits of food safety principles and regulations.
- Recognize foodborne issues in real-time.
- Identify types of foodborne contamination.
- Ways to properly preserve food.
- Properly utilize the principles of temperatures and time of cooking to make sure that correct food handling procedures are followed.
- Learn the correct techniques of cleaning and sanitizing.
- Understand the importance of personal hygiene concerning food safety.
Individuals who require food handler training can take the following steps-
1- Individuals can contact their local health departments through a phone call or online to understand the requirements to obtain a food handler card. Typically, state health department sites also have links that individuals can easily access to determine the requirements.
2- Several local community colleges and distance learning centers offer online food handler training courses. Individuals can opt for classroom-style or online training programs. These providers offer courses in English and Spanish. Food workers can enroll in the required training courses and begin the process of assessment.
3- Fees for every Food Safety training program vary depending on several criteria, such as the state you work in and the school offering the program. The tuition cost includes the cost to attempt the food handler card assessment. Several food training providers have a refund policy to return the fee in case an individual fails to pass the test. Typically, the cost of the government-approved assessment costs between $7 and $15, depending on the state you intend to work in.
4- Individuals are required to complete the food handler card certificate program before taking the food handlers examination. The course training requires 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.
5- Individuals can prepare for the food handler card by repeatedly practicing for the exam that gives an insight into the test timing, format, and study material. The training providers give participants practice tests that are automatically scored at the end of the program.
6- After an adequate amount of practice, individuals are can appear for the examination. Many food workers complete the assessment on their first attempt. In case you are not able to complete the assessment on your first attempt, you can again try to complete it successfully.
The assessment is a multi-choice test that will automatically generate a score on completion that allows candidates to determine test results instantly.
Individuals who have completed the assessment can access their food handler cards online and print the card instantly. Typically, the food handlers need a food handler card during the valid years of employment.
Food handlers are required by law to have a food handlers card
Zipfoodhandler has you covered
How To Take the Food Handlers' Test Again?
Candidates who are unable to complete the assessment on their first attempt can take a re-test, depending upon the state in which they took the assessment.
How Long Is a Food Handlers Card Valid?
Typically, food handler cards are valid for 2-3 years. Food handler cards are required to be renewed before their expiry date. If your food handler card has expired, you will need to take food handler card training and assessment again, depending on the regulations of the state you work.
Is the Food handler card Valid in Other States?
Several food handler cards are non-transferable. If you plan to move to another state, you will need to take a food handler card assessment that has been issued by the state you plan to work.
Food workers will be required to register their credentials with the local health department. Every state has different work requirements, and individuals will need to complete training for food handlers according to the state regulations.
Let us look at some examples of regulations of states and counties-
California requires all food workers who prepare, store, or serve food to obtain a California Food Handler Card. Food workers need to complete a food handler course and pass an assessment from an ANSI-accredited organization within 30 days of employment. California food handler card is valid for three years. California food handler card is accepted almost everywhere in California except in Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties. In San Diego County, the food handler card is valid for two years.
All food service providers in New Mexico need to obtain a food handler card. Food workers who have direct contact with food preparation, utensils, and food contact services need to get a food handler card.
Food handlers require a card certificate from an approved food handler training provider. Food facilities need at least one food manager or supervisor who is a certified food protection manager. Several manager certification programs are available at local health services providers that assist in obtaining a food handler or a food manager certification.
Individuals who already have a food protection manager certification and volunteers at temporary events are exempt from obtaining a food handler card in New Mexico.
Food workers at food facilities do not require to be certified as food handlers. However, business owners may prefer their staff to receive formal food handler card training. Food handlers can also apply for a food handler card online to increase their chances of employment.
Food service providers require at least one full-time team lead or a manager with food manager certification, and food facilities with more than ten full-time food handlers require at least two certified food managers.
According to Rhode Island Health Department, a certified manager must be on-site during every food preparation and serving hour. Food managers need to renew their certification every three years.
Texas food handler card is essential for all full-time and part-time employees working with food preparation and service. Food workers need a food handler certificate within 60 days of employment. Food handlers need to have physical food handler cards permanently present on site.
Food handlers can obtain a food handler card through many government-approved online programs, such as ServSafe food handler certification.