Iowa Food Handler Card Training

How do I get a food handler card in Iowa?

It’s easy to get your food handler card in Iowa!  Take a brief training program, pass the exam, and you can print your certificate of completion right away. Take it to your employer as proof of training and ask if local authorities require any additional steps. Enroll now to get your food handler certification in Iowa!

Individual Course

Food Handler Training

Get your food handler card in just 2 hours with our ANSI-ASTM accredited course.

10.00 7.00
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Does Iowa require food handler training?

Food handler training is recommended in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals requires the Person in Charge (PIC) of a food establishment to train employees in food safety and hygiene.

Since food handler training focuses on those topics, food handler certification can make you a more attractive job candidate. You'll learn:

  • Effective hand-washing protocols
  • Time and temperature controls
  • Foodborne illness symptoms
  • Proper sanitation of equipment, utensils, and food-contact surfaces
  • How to safely receive and store food
  • And more

Some jurisdictions have stricter training requirements than the state, so you should double-check your employer or city/county to ensure you comply with local laws.

Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?

Yes!  Just make sure the training provider has a good reputation.

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 Iowa food handlers certificate last?

Generally, Iowa food handler certificates need refreshing every 2-3 years.  Check with your employer or local health authority for their requirements or preferences.

Why should I take food handler training?

It's a great way to beef up your resume when applying for jobs.  But more importantly, if you plan to be a food employee in Iowa, you need to know how to keep yourself and your customers safe from foodborne illness.

Your knowledge of food safety can have a big impact on public health where you live.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), food handlers are the source for many foodborne illness outbreaks.  For example, an estimated 70% of reported norovirus outbreaks can be traced to food employees coming to work with diarrhea or vomiting.

In 2017, the CDC recorded 17 foodborne disease outbreaks in the state of Iowa. This is down from the 22 reported in 2015. If you follow your food handler training, you can help ensure the number of outbreaks goes down every year.

What jobs can I get in Iowa with my food handler license?

In Iowa, 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 jobs like:

  • Cook or food preparation worker
  • Restaurant server
  • Dishwasher
  • And more

You can work in a variety of establishments like:

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Bakeries
  • Cafeterias
  • Grocery stores
  • Food trucks
  • And many more…

And job demand is high because the food and beverage industry in Iowa is growing fast.

According to the Iowa Restaurant Association (IRA), in 2019 there were 152,500 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 9% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 10.2% by the year 2029. For reference, the national projected job growth across all industries is 5%.

If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Iowa, 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
Dishwasher $9.57 $19,900
Waiter/Waitress $10.51 $21,850
Fast Food Cook $9.86 $20,500
Restaurant Cook $11.87 $24,700

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 Iowa?

Iowa Department of Inspections & Appeals: The DIA is responsible for administering and enforcing the Iowa Food Code.  You can find food safety resources, administrative rules, and relevant Iowa laws here.

Iowa Food Safety and Protection Task Force: Find basic requirements, licensing information, and additional resources based on facility type.

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