Virginia Food Safety

Virginia Food Safety Regulations

virginia state flagAlthough Certifying Food Managers is not required, Virginia requires a Person in Charge to Demonstrate knowledge and having a certified Food Manager would fulfill that requirement.


Food Manager Certification

Certification is not required, but individuals must demonstrate knowledge of best food handling practices. See Exceptions.


Food Handler Certification

Strongly suggested. Not mandatory.  See exceptions.



Check with your local health department to find out certified courses.


Certification Renewal

Food Manager is every 3 or 5 years depending on the county. Food Handler renewal requirements vary by jurisdictions, please contact your local health department for specific information.


Approved Courses

Prometric, ServSafe, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals (NRFSP), and 360 Training


Approved Options

Classroom, Online, or Pearson Testing Centers. Please check your local health department for the most up to date information.


Special Notes and Exceptions

State level regulations do not require Food Manager Certification but these counties do:

Virginia bbq dinerAccomack County (including Towns of Parksley & Onacock), Alexandria City, Arlington County, Chesapeake City, Fairfax City, Fairfax County (including Towns of Clifton, Herndon, & Vienna), Falls Church City, Gloucester County, Hampton City, Newport News City, Norfolk City, Northampton County (including Town of Cheriton), Portsmouth City, & Virginia Beach City


These cities and counties require Food Handler Permits:

City of Franklin, James City County, City of Newport News, City of Norfolk, City of Poquoson, City of Portsmouth, County of Southampton, City of Suffolk, City of Williamsburg, & County of York


Additional Resources

For additional information, visit Virginia Department of Health resources:

Food Handler’s Study Guide

Department of Health

Retail Food Regulations

Food Regulations