Missouri Food Handler Card Training

How do I get a food handler card in Missouri?

It depends on your jurisdiction in Missouri.  Check your local health department for their specific requirements. But typically, it's a three-step process:

  1. Take an approved food handler course
  2. Pass the test
  3. Present your training certificate to your employer or local health authority.

Our food handler training is ANSI-accredited and accepted by many Missouri employers and counties!

Individual Course

Food Handler Training

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

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Does Missouri require food handler training?

The state doesn't, but a handful of counties or municipalities have food safety training requirements. That includes (but isn't limited to):

  • Kansas City, Missouri, and the adjacent counties (Jackson, Cass, Clay, Platte)
  • Jefferson County and St. Charles County, in the St. Louis metro area
  • Independence, Missouri
  • Lafayette County, Missouri
  • Boone County, Missouri
  • Cape Girardeau County, Missouri

These counties tend to have very specific training requirements, from the county or single provider.  Check with your local health authority and don't believe unscrupulous training providers who lie about being authorized to meet your requirements.

But some of them have a reciprocity agreement, so if you're licensed in one county, you're licensed in others.

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

It depends on your jurisdiction. When a food handler permit is required, local health authorities often want you to take your training from a very specific source. Sometimes that includes an online option.

There are counties in Missouri where food handler training isn't required, but it is recommended. Some employers might require a permit, and in general, employers will prefer hiring candidates that have training. 

In these cases, online training is very convenient. Just be sure to choose a reputable program. 

Our food handler permit course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is ANSI-accredited.  That means it follows the highest standards for food handler training courses.

How long does a Missouri food handlers certificate last?

Check with your local health authority—expirations in Missouri usually range from two to four years, depending on jurisdiction.

Why should I take food handler training?

First of all, some counties in the state of Missouri require food workers to earn a food handler card. But additionally, you need to know how to prevent foodborne illnesses to safely serve your customers.

In 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there was a total of 14 foodborne disease outbreaks in Missouri. This is up from the 12 outbreaks reported in 2016 and the 10 reported in 2015.

If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help ensure the number of outbreaks stops creeping upwards and returns to lower levels.

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

In Missouri, you can work at a variety of establishments if you have your food handler card. Some examples include:

  • Restaurants and fast food places
  • Cafes, bakeries, and delis
  • Grocery and convenience stores
  • Food trucks
  • Catering services

And within each establishment there are numerous jobs because the food and beverage industry in Missouri is growing.

According to the Missouri Restaurant Association (MRA), in 2019 there were 300,300 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 10% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 9.3% by the year 2029.

If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Missouri, 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 $10.15 $21,100
Waiter/Waitress $10.30 $21,420
Fast Food Cook $10.00 $20,800
Restaurant Cook $12.10 $25,180

Where can I find more information about food safety in Missouri?If you get your food handler card before you apply for any of these jobs, you’ll be way ahead of the competition!

Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS): The DHSS provides great resources for food safety in Missouri, including food recalls, information on foodborne illnesses, and tips for consumer and industry safety practices.

Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA):  The MDA is a great source of food safety information regarding food production, farmers' markets, and produce safety.

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