Two 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:
- Certifying Board from Dietary Managers
- National Registry for Food Safety Professionals
- ServSafe (National Restaurant Association)
Food Handler’s Certification
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.
- Washington only accepts cards through their own test. To find out more, visit Washington Food Safety Regulations page.
- Oregon lists their approved card issuers. To find out more, visit Oregon Food Handler’s Card Information page.
- California accepts any ANSI accredited course as a state but certain Counties may have different rules. Check with your local health department. To find out more, visit California Food Safety Regulations page.
- Illinois requires an ANSI accredited course within 30 days of hire. To find out more, visit Illinois Food Safety Regulations page.
- Alaska has their own food card website.To find out more, visit Alaska Food Safety Regulations page.
- Florida has a list of approved vendors. To find out more, visit Florida Food Safety Regulations page.
- Utah has a list of approved vendors. To find out more, visit Utah Food Safety Regulations page.
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.