How do I get a food handler card in Maryland?
It’s quick and easy! To get your food handler card in Maryland, you just:
- Take a short training program
- Pass a multiple-choice exam
- Access and save/print your certificate of completion right away
Your certificate of completion serves as proof of training for your employer or local health authority. Enroll now to get your food handler certification in Maryland!
Does Maryland require food handler training?
Food handler training is recommended in Maryland to support Maryland Department of Health food safety initiatives. Employers are required to train you in safe food handling and foodborne illness prevention, so food handler training makes you a more attractive job candidate.
Some cities or counties have stricter requirements than the state. You should check with your city/county or employer to ensure you meet the obligations of a food handler in your jurisdiction.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler license?
Yup! You can earn your food handler license online in less time and at a lower cost than you could in a classroom. You can take the course from any device and at your own pace.
Just make sure you take the course from a reputable provider. Our food handler permit course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is ANSI-accredited and follows the highest standards for food handler training.
You'll learn how to:
- Define food safety and its goals, benefits, impact, and proper adherence
- Identify biohazards, food spoilage, sources of contamination, and symptoms of foodborne illness
- Control time and temperature of safety-sensitive foods to hinder the growth of dangerous pathogens
- Wash your hands effectively and avoid contamination through hand contact
- Sanitize surfaces, equipment, and implements properly
- Acquire, receive, and store food safely
- Identify and eradicate a pest infestation
How long does a Maryland food handlers certification last?
Food handler training generally needs to be repeated every 2-3 years, to help you remember and practice food safety effectively. Check with your employer or local health authority to learn when your food handler certification will expire.
Why should I take food handler training?
Completing food handler training can move your resume to the top of the pile during a job search, because it's proof you have some of the skills your employer would normally have to teach you.
But food handler training is also important to the public health. As a food employee in Maryland, you'll play a big role in preventing the spread of foodborne illness.
The daily decisions food workers make a difference. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that contagious food handlers are the source for 70% of reported norovirus ("stomach flu") outbreaks.
Maryland has a fairly steady incidence of foodborne outbreaks. In 2017, there were 30 foodborne disease outbreaks in Maryland, according to the CDC. This is consistent with past years (32 outbreaks reported in 2016 and the 28 reported in 2015).
By practicing what you learn in food handler training, you can help bring the number of outbreaks in the state down.
What jobs can I get in Maryland with my food handler license permit?
In Maryland, a food handler permit 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:
- Food servers
- Food prep workers
- Event staff
You can work in a variety of establishments like:
- Fast food places
- Bars and pubs
- Delis and cafes
- Bakeries and butcher shops
- Grocery stores
- Catering services
- Food trucks
And job demand is high because the food and beverage industry in Maryland is growing fast.
According to the Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM), in 2019 there were 259,000 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 9% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 8.1% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Maryland, 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||$11.94||$24,830|
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 Maryland?
Maryland Department of Health: The Office of Food Protection assures food safety in the state of Maryland. You'll find tips and resources on their website.
Maryland Health Departments: Look up your local health department's contact information to get more specific requirements for food safety in your district.