How do I get a food handler card in Florida?
Acquiring a food handler card in Florida couldn't be easier. Just complete a short training course and print your certificate of completion.
Take a copy of your certificate to your employer or local health authority as proof of training. We also recommend you keep one for your files.
Enroll now to get your food handler card in Florida.
Does Florida require food handler training?
In section 509.049 of the Florida Administrative Code, it states that food workers need to complete a food safety training certificate program.
Your training should include concepts emphasized by the Florida Food Safety and Sanitation Program, such as:
- Proper handwashing protocols
- Safe methods for thawing, cooking, cooling, holding, and storing foods
- Handling techniques to avoid contamination
- Safe cleaning and sanitizing methods
- Causes and symptoms of foodborne illnesses
- Proper insect and pest control
- And more
We also always recommend double-checking with your city, county, or employer to ensure you comply with local regulations.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler certification?
Yup! In fact, online food handler courses are quick and convenient. You can take the course from any device and at your own pace.
Our food handler certification course at Learn2Serve by 360training, follows the highest training standards in the industry and is approved in the state of Florida through our partnership with Environ Health Associates, Inc.
How long does a Florida food handlers permit last?
Regular refreshers are the key to compliance, which is why renewing your Florida food handler permit is required every 3 years.
Why should I take food handler training?
Food managers in Florida are responsible for ensuring their employees comply with food safety regulations. If you're certified in food handling, prospective employers know hiring you is a smarter bet than someone who isn't. Food handler training makes you more employable.
More importantly, food safety regulations exist because food handlers play an enormous role in public health. For example, an estimated 70% of reported food poisoning (norovirus) outbreaks can be traced back to contagious food handlers, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Florida has its share of foodborne illness. In 2017, the CDC reported a total of 65 foodborne disease outbreaks in Florida. That's similar to the 66 outbreaks reported in 2016 but lower than the 73 reported in 2015.
Ultimately, we want the number of outbreaks to keep going down. If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help make that happen.
What jobs can I get in Florida with my food handler license?
In Florida, you can work at a variety of establishments if you have your food handler card. Some examples include:
- Restaurants with table service
- Fast food and counter-service establishments
- Coffee shops, bakeries, and delis
- Catering services
- Grocery stores
- And many more
And within each establishment there are numerous jobs because the food and beverage industry in Florida is growing extremely fast.
According to the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA), in 2019 there were 1,096,000 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 12% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 14.1% by the year 2029. That's nearly triple the average national job growth (5%).
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Florida, 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||$10.84||$22,550|
Another thing to note is that you’ll need your Florida food handler 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 Florida?
Florida Department of Health: The state's Food Safety and Sanitation Program is housed in the DOH. You can view specific hygiene codes and standards here.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: The FDACS has great food safety resources, including information on foodborne illnesses and product recalls.
Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations: You can find all the licensing information you need from the DBPR's Division of Hotels and Restaurants.