Do All Food Service Employees Need a Food Handlers Card Colorado?
Not every food service employee in Colorado needs a Food Handlers Card. Only those handling unpackaged food directly will do well to have one. They include chefs, line cooks, servers, bus persons, bartenders, prep workers, and others. Even food truck handlers and food vendors may want to secure the handlers certificate.
Food-borne diseases stemming from restaurants are often traced back to improper food handling. Poor personal hygiene, contaminated equipment, and insufficient cooking are the chief culprits. A handler card guarantees that an employee has received the required food safety training. It further mitigates the risk of contamination and promises customers safe food.
Even though food handlers can get away without a permit, Colorado law requires that supervisors and managers are certified. A food establishment has to employ a certified food protection manager with state-approved food protection manager certification. This manager is responsible for training other staff. He or she is also responsible for maintaining establishment rules around food safety.
How Do I Apply For a Colorado Food Handlers Card?
You can secure your Food Handlers Card or food handler license by completing a basic food safety training course and taking the accredited exam. The course is offered online and on site. However, many applicants prefer to take the food safety course online. That's because it's convenient, compatible across devices, and self-paced. Online courses are offered by websites accredited by ANSIthe American National Standards Institute. ANSI sets the highest standards for food safety courses, compliant with local safety norms and public health guidelines.
There are three easy steps to getting your Colorado Food Handler Card online. (And if you put your mind to it, you can get that card in a couple of hours.)
Step 1- Sign up for an Accredited Food Handlers Course
Pick an online food safety training provider and sign up for the Colorado Food Handlers Course. Courses in food safety training can cost between $7 and $10. Once you've signed up, you'll have access to the handlers training course material. The best courses offer easy-to-understand video content in multiple languages.
The Food Handlers course can be completed in 2 hours at a stretch. But it also allows you to pause and pick up where you left off later. It is this versatility that makes the online safety course additionally appealing. What's more, online course providers also offer practice questions to prepare for the test. (That's the 2nd Step.)
Step 2- Take the Online Food Handler Test
Once you've studied the food safety training material, it's time to take the food handlers test. You're required to answer 40 multiple choice questions. These cover the basics in Colorado food safety regulations and best practices. Subjects include sanitation protocols, food storage and preparation, ideal cooking and storage practices, environmental health, and so on. You need a minimum score of 80% to pass the test.
Step 3- Print Your Food Handler Card
Once you've successfully completed the test, you can instantly download and print your Food Handlers Certificate. Your certificate or food handler permit will also be available online for later reference. The entire processfrom sign-up to print-outcan be completed in under 2 hours. You're now the proud bearer of a certified Food Handler Card in Colorado.
I've Failed the Food Handlers Test. Now What?
Don't sweat. Most colorado food safety certificate providers give you another chance to retake the test at no extra cost. The safety training material will continue to be available to you until you take the test a second time. If, however, you fail the test again you will have no choice but to pay for the course and test again. Incidentally, some course providers offer scholarships to those unable to pay the course fee.
How Long Is My Food Handlers Card Valid?
A food handlers card is valid for 2 to 3 years, depending on the county and state you're in. Food safety rules change with jurisdiction. The food handlers license Colorado, for example, will be valid only in Colorado. In order to use the card in another state, it's best to verify its validity with the local public health department.