How do I get a food handler card in Nebraska?
It’s easy to get your food handler card in Nebraska! After completing an approved course and multiple-choice test, you can print your certificate of completion right away to use as proof of training. Be sure to check if any extra steps are required by local authorities.
Enroll now to get your food handler certification in Nebraska!
Does Nebraska require food handler training?
The only jurisdiction where a food handler card is required in Nebraska is Lincoln-Lancaster County. If you want to work as a food handler in Lincoln, you MUST take the county-sponsored course. No other provider is approved. Good news is, it's free!
Outside of Lincoln, food handler permits are voluntary but recommended. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture recommends certain practices for preventing the transmission of foodborne illness. An accredited food handler training program will meet and exceed those standards.
Make sure you check with your city/county or employer to learn more about their requirements.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler certificate?
Absolutely. Lincoln-Lancaster County offers their own online option, and there are many reputable online food handler courses if you live and work somewhere else in Nebraska.
Our food handler certificate course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ANSI-accredited courses like ours meet the highest standards for food handler training.
How long does a Nebraska food handlers permit last?
Lincoln-Lancaster County food handler permits are valid for two years.
Outside of Lincoln, Nebraska food handler permits are generally valid for 2-3 years. It's important to take regular refresher courses. Ask your employer or local health authority on their recommendations for renewal.
Why should I take food handler training?
If you work in Lincoln-Lancaster County, your local health authority requires food handler training if you want to hold any position in a restaurant or eatery (right down to dishwashers).
But in other parts of Nebraska, employers may require a food handler card or give preference to job candidates who already have one. That's right—food handler training can make you more employable.
That's because owners and managers are responsible for ensuring their employees comply with food safety regulations. If you've earned a food handler card before you're hired, prospective employers you understand and respect the importance of food safety.
In the year 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there was a total of 9 foodborne disease outbreaks in Nebraska. This is up a little from the 7 outbreaks reported in 2016 and the 6 reported in 2015.
If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help get the number of outbreaks back down.
What jobs can I get in Nebraska with my food handler license?
In Nebraska, you can work at a variety of establishments if you have your food handler license. Some examples include:
- Counter-service restaurants
- Fast food restaurants
- Fine-dining restaurants
- Coffee shops and bakeries
- Grocery stores
- And many more…
And within each establishment there are numerous jobs because the food and beverage industry in Nebraska is growing.
According to the Nebraska Restaurant Association, in 2019 there were 96,900 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 9% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 7.5% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Nebraska, 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||$10.81||$22,490|
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 Nebraska?
Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA): The NDA regulates food safety in Nebraska alongside local health departments. They're a great source for information on food recalls, the Nebraska Food Code, foodborne illnesses, and other food safety topics.