How do I get a food handler card in Massachusetts?
It’s easy to get your food handler card in Massachusetts. Just complete a quick training program and take the test! Once you pass, you'll get a certificate of completion that you can bring to your employer as proof of training. Enroll now to get your food handler card in Massachusetts.
Does Massachusetts require food handler training?
Food handler training is recommended for food workers in Massachusetts to help you learn to follow the sanitation regulations set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
- Effective handwashing techniques and protocols
- Safe acquisition and storage of food
- Time and temperature controls that prevent pathogen growth
- Proper sanitization of equipment and food-contact surfaces
- Measures to prevent cross-contamination
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 certificate?
Yes—in fact, online food handler courses are a quick and convenient way to get your certificate! Just make sure you take the course from a reputable provider.
Our food handler certificate course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). That's the highest standard for food handler training.
How long does a Massachusetts food handlers permit last?
Periodic refresher courses are important to keeping food safety at the front of your mind. Connecticut food handler permit is generally valid for 2-3 years, but you should ask your employer or local health authority what they require.
Why should I take food handler training?
If you plan to work as a food employee in Massachusetts, you need to know how to keep yourself and your customers safe from foodborne illness.
Your decisions can play an important role in public health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 70% of reported "stomach flu" (norovirus) outbreaks originate from food handlers who come to work while contagious.
Massachusetts has its share of foodborne illness. In 2017, the CDC reported that there was a total of 29 foodborne disease outbreaks in Massachusetts. This is similar to the 28 outbreaks reported in 2016.
If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help ensure the number of outbreaks continues going down every year.
What jobs can I get in Massachusetts with my food handler license?
In Massachusetts, 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:
- Cooks, chefs, dishwashers, and other back-of-house staff
- Bussers and food runners
- Waiters, waitresses, and bartenders
You can work in a variety of establishments like:
- Coffee shops
- Food trucks
- Catering services
- Grocery stores
- Convenience stores
And job demand is high because the food and beverage industry in Massachusetts is growing.
According to the Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA), in 2019 there were 349,300 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 9% of total employment. And that number is projected to grow 7.7% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Massachusetts, 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||$13.76||$28,620|
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 Massachusetts?
Massachusetts Department of Public Health: The MDPH is charged with ensuring food safety in the state. You'll find resources here, including the Massachusetts Food Code.
Massachusetts Partnership for Food Safety Education: You'll find personal and commercial food safety recommendations and teaching tools here.