Certification Types

pots and pans containing food left in a commercial kitchenTwo food handling certification types exist: food manager certification and food handler’s


certification. In both certifications, individuals must demonstrate knowledge of safe food handling practices to prevent foodborne illness.


Food Manager Certification

Designed for restaurant owners and supervisors, the Food Manager Certification is a more comprehensive exam requiring at least one employee or owner of restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, delis, food trucks, refreshment stands and other food establishments that prepare or serve unpackaged food.



These four companies are accredited for official Food Manager Certification:


Food Handler’s Certification

chef washing hands using soap

Some states require all employees to go through food handler training. The proof of completion is typically called a Food Handler’s Card, License, or Permit. This training and exam covers the fundamentals of food safety and are available through online courses in some states/cities.


Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, Alaska, Florida and Utah require all employees to get a Food Handler’s Card. Several other states, such as Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, Nevada and New York, carry county requirements for passing the food handler’s test.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredits courses for Food Handler’s Certification. Full list of ANSI accredited courses for food handling can be found HERE. Once you take the course and pass the test, you are a certified food handler. Food handler’s cards are typically available for printing immediately after passing the test.