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How to Get a Food Handlers Card

L2S Food Handler Enroll

1. Enroll in Training

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2. Complete the Training + Pass the Exam

360 L2S 28523 Food Handler Card Icons Certificate (2)

3. Instantly Download Your Food Handler Card

  • Includes course material and exam
  • ANAB-accredited training, approved in most jurisdictions
  • No timers, start and stop as needed
  • Receive 2 attempts to pass the final exam
  • Minimum passing score is 72% (may vary by state)
  • Mobile-friendly, access anytime from any device
  • Certificate of completion PLUS wallet card available immediately
  • Print or download to your phone
  • Certificate is valid for 3 years

Getting a food handlers certificate is easy. In most states, all you need to do is pass an online training course. Once you’re done, you can print your food handler permit right away and start working! Sometimes, you might need to fill out an additional application to get your permit, but even if you do, you’ll still need to complete a training course.

The training course teaches you everything you need to know to prevent foodborne illness while you’re at work. So once you have your certificate, you can use it to show your employer and state health officials that you understand food safety best practices.

Get Your Food Card Online

Most food handler courses will take you between two and four hours to complete. Some training providers, like us at Learn2Serve® by 360training, training courses completely online. 360training Food Handler Training believes in Learning with Fun. Our training course includes the most engaging content related Gaming activities which not only keep your attention level high, but also educate you with real life scenarios. That means no crowded classrooms or driving to strange areas of town.

Plus, when you take your training online, you can take the course in one sitting or break it up over multiple sessions. You get to learn at your own pace, which is great if you have a busy schedule.

Select your state above to learn more about our online license program!

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What Does “Food Handler” Mean?

The term “food handler” may refer to anyone who works in a food service establishment and handles unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces. At its most expansive, this can include back-of-house positions like cooks or dishwashers and front-of-house positions like waitstaff or bussers.

In many states and local jurisdictions (like counties or municipalities), the law requires these positions to complete food safety training because their hygiene practices can directly impact food safety. These regulations dictate the exact definition of a food handler for mandatory training purposes. Sometimes they focus on people directly involved in food prep or service, and sometimes they include support staff.

Why Do States Require Food Handler Training?

According to the CDC, ill or infectious food workers play a role in 40% of foodborne illness outbreaks. That means foodborne illness can be significantly reduced by food handlers following proper safety protocols. Food handler training includes education on topics like contamination and employee health and hygiene that contribute directly to the reduction of contagious foodborne illness.

Additionally, food handler training addresses prevention measures for other sources of foodborne illness, like food spoilage, temperature and time control, the safe cleaning of food contact surfaces, and more.

Can You Use a Food Handler Card In Other States?

Even when a food handler card is not legally required, many employers prefer to hire someone with valid proof of food safety training. Up-to-date training proves to a prospective employer that you’re serious about working in food service and that you’re more likely to be a reliable employee. Additionally, it means that you know how to do your job safely and in compliance with food safety regulations, and it may save your potential employer in training costs. In other words, it will put your resume at the top of the pile.

ANAB-accredited food handler training is the most likely to be valid in a different jurisdiction, but you should check what is accepted or required locally.

How Long Is a Food Handler’s License Valid?

In jurisdictions where a food handler’s license is mandatory, they will have a designated renewal period. The most common frequency is 2-3 years, but it varies. For example, Indiana food handler cards last five years, while certain counties in Arizona, Alabama, and Kentucky require annual renewal.

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