How do I get a food handler card in Arkansas?
It’s easy to get your food handler card in Arkansas! Once you complete a short training program and pass the exam, you can print your certificate of completion immediately and take it to your employer as proof of training. Be sure to ask if any additional steps are required by local authorities. Enroll now to get your food handler certification in Arkansas!
Does Arkansas require food handler training?
Food handler training is recommended in Arkansas. It supports the Arkansas Department of Health's 5 key public health interventions by teaching food employees how to safely handle food to prevent the spread of foodborne illness.
Suggested training includes how to:
- Control food time and temperature to prevent pathogen growth
- Prevent contamination between hands and food or food-contact surfaces
- Wash your hands effectively
- Recognize when you should stay home from work
- Sanitize equipment and food-contact surfaces
Some cities or counties have stricter requirements than the state. It's always a good idea to double check with your city/county or employer to ensure you get required training.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?
You can! Getting your food handler permit online is faster, less expensive, and more convenient than other options.
Our food handler permit course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is ANSI-accredited and follows the highest standards for food handler training.
How long does an Arkansas food handlers certificate last?
Check with your employer or local health authority. Arkansas food handler certification is generally valid for 2-3 years. It's important to take regular refresher courses.
Why should I take food handler training?
If you plan to work as a food employee in Arkansas, you need to know how to keep yourself and your customers safe from foodborne illness.
It's serious business—the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 70% of reported norovirus ("stomach flu") outbreaks are caused by food handlers working a shift while contagious.
The good news: as of 2017, Arkansas' CDC data shows a low rate of foodborne illness outbreaks for its population size. That includes 3 outbreaks each in 2016 and 2017, down from 5 reported in 2015.
If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help ensure the number of foodborne illness outbreaks in Arkansas stay low.
What jobs can I get in Arkansas with my food handler license?
In Arkansas, 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.
That includes positions like:
- Kitchen staff (chefs, line cooks, prep workers)
- Bussers and dishwashers
- Wait staff, food runners, and bartenders
- Any staff that handles food, food-contact surfaces, or clean foodware
You can work in a variety of establishments like:
- Restaurants, from fine dining to fast food
- Coffee shops, bakeries, and delis
- Grocery stores and convenience stores
- Food trucks
- And many more…
And job demand is high because the food and beverage industry in Arkansas is growing fast.
According to the Arkansas Hospitality Association (AHA), in 2019 there were 121,100 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 10% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 9.1% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Arkansas, 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||$10.02||$20,840|
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 Arkansas?
Arkansas Department of Health: The ADH regulates the sale of food products for public safety. It's an important source of information on food inspections, infectious diseases, and the Arkansas Food Code.
Arkansas Agriculture Department: The AAD manages programs and policies for agriculture and forestry in the state. They handle the produce safety program, including training requirements.