How do I get a food worker card in Alaska?
It's easy to get your food worker card in Alaska. You can take the required test either online or in person, then print your own food worker card. Our ANSI-accredited training can help you learn all of that in just two hours!
Does Alaska require food handler certification?
Yes. Under Title 18 of the Alaska Administrative Code (18 AAC 31.330), food workers need to earn a valid state food worker card within 30 days of hiring.
If you work in the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA), you need a food worker card issued by the MOA, instead. It’s always best practice to double check with your city/county or employer for additional requirements.
Once you've printed your food handler card, give your employer a copy so that they can keep it on hand. Alaska law requires your employer to keep a copy of your food worker card for as long as you work there and up to a year, afterward. If you move on to another job, you can print a new copy of your card for free.
Who needs a food worker card in Alaska?
According to Alaska's Division of Environmental Health, the state requires a food worker card for anyone who works with unpackaged foods, potentially hazardous food, or food-contact surfaces. That includes:
- Meat cutters
- Food counter workers
- And more
The Anchorage Health Department has similar requirements, but they clarify that you do NOT need a food handler card unless you handle food or clean dishes and utensils. That means hostesses, cashiers, delivery drivers, and other workers may be off the hook, as long as their duties are limited.
How long does an Alaska food handler card last?
Food worker certificates are valid for three years in Alaska. They expire on the three-year anniversary of the date you pass the test.
Food worker licenses issued by the MOA also last three years.
Why should I take food handler training?
First of all, you need to learn food safety to earn the food worker card required by the state of Alaska. But beyond that, food workers play a vital role in preventing foodborne illnesses.
In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a relatively high rate of foodborne disease outbreaks in Alaska (over 6.52 outbreaks per million residents). This represents an increase in the number of outbreaks compared to recent years.
If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help ensure the number of outbreaks stays down.
What jobs can I get in Alaska with my food handler license?
In Alaska, you can work at a variety of establishments if you have your food worker license. Some examples include:
- Casual and fine-dining restaurants
- Fast food and counter-service restaurants
- Coffee shops
- Food trucks
- Convenience stores
- Grocery stores
- Any other establishment serving unpackaged or potentially hazardous food
There's a demand for these jobs because the food and beverage industry in Alaska is still growing.
According to the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant & Retail Association (CHARR), in 2019 there were 31,800 restaurant and food service jobs. That's 10% of employment in the state, and the number of jobs are projected to grow by 5% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Alaska, here are some good options, along with how much money you can expect to make based on wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|Job Title||Average Hourly Wage||Average Yearly Wage|
|Fast Food Cook||$12.70||$26,420|
But remember, you’ll need your Alaska food worker card to get any of these jobs. And if you already have it before you apply, you’ll be way ahead of the competition!
Where can I find more information about food safety in Alaska?
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Food Safety & Sanitation Program: This program regulates food safety and sanitation in Alaska, from shellfish harvesting to public facilities sanitation. You'll find information about food safety requirements, as well as other resources.
Anchorage Environmental Health Services: Anchorage has a separate food safety program from the rest of Alaska. You'll find food safety requirements and resources for the municipality here.