How do I get a food handler card in Arizona?
It’s easy to get your food handler card in Arizona. Just complete an accredited training program and pass the test! Some counties accept your certificate of training completion, and some require registration with the county. Enroll now to get your food handler card in Arizona.
Does Arizona require food handler training?
The majority of counties in Arizona require food handler training, and the state of Arizona requires courses to be accredited by a national organization like the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
ANSI-accredited food handler training is required if you work in:
- Coconino County*
- Gila County
- Greenlee County*
- La Paz County*
- Maricopa County
- Mohave County
- Pinal County
- Santa Cruz County*
- Yavapai County*
- Yuma County*
In some counties, your certificate of training completion is your "card."
Others (like the counties with asterisks) require extra steps. After training, you'll present your certificate of completion to the necessary county authority, along with required identification. The county will issue your official food handler card.
Deadlines for training completion (i.e., how long you can work without a card) vary by county. For example, in La Paz County, you need your card before you start work. In Yavapai County, you need it within 30 days of starting work. Check your local requirements.
In fact, we do our best to provide accurate information, but county regulations can change at any time. It's always best to double check exact requirements with your employer or local health authority before you get started.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?
Yes! Arizona HB 2436 explicitly authorizes online training, as long as the training provider meets their requirements. This means an ANSI-accredited training program, such as the Learn2Serve, by 360training, courses.
Enroll in our online food handler card training to meet your requirements in Arizona.
How long does an Arizona food handlers certificate last?
Food handler certificates need to be updated yearly in Yuma County. Other counties that require training want you to renew every 2 or 3 years, depending on jurisdiction. Ask your employer or local health authority to be sure you're in compliance where you live.
Why should I take food handler training?
First of all, most counties in the state of Arizona require that you to earn a food handler card.
Secondly, when you work with unpackaged food, you need to know how to prevent foodborne illnesses for the health of your customers and the reputation of your employer.
In the year 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there was a total of 10 foodborne disease outbreaks in Arizona. This is much lower than the 20 outbreaks reported in 2016 and the 24 reported in 2015.
If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help ensure the number of outbreaks continues to go down every year.
What jobs can I get in Arizona with my food handler license?
In Arizona, a food handler license qualifies you for many types of jobs. The training's designed for anyone who works with unpackaged food and/or food-contact surfaces, equipment, or utensils.
Some examples include:
- Restaurants and other eateries
- Coffee shops and bakeries
- Grocery stores
- And many more…
And within each establishment there are numerous jobs because the food and beverage industry in Arizona is growing extremely fast.
According to the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA), in 2019 there were 310,600 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 11% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 15.1% by the year 2029. That's over three times the average rate of job growth in the country (5%).
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Arizona, 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||$11.36||$23,620|
If you get your food handler card before you apply for any of these jobs, you’ll be way ahead of the competition!
Where can I find more information about food safety in Arizona?
Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS): AZDHS's website is an excellent source for tips on food safety and relevant regulations in Arizona. That includes safe food handling at work and at home, as well as the Arizona Food Code and county health department contacts information.