How do I get a food handler card in New Mexico?
Acquiring a food handler card in New Mexico couldn't be easier. Just complete an accredited training course, pass a multiple-choice exam, and you'll get a certificate of completion that will serve as proof of training.
Enroll now to get your food handler card in New Mexico!
Does New Mexico require food handler training?
Yes, in most of the state. It's a relatively new requirement that kicked in on April 1, 2019.
Food handler training is required in New Mexico, EXCEPT in Albuquerque/Bernalillo County. Keep in mind that some employers in Bernalillo County may want you to complete food handler training, even though isn't required by law. Albuquerque employers may give hiring preference to candidates with accredited food safety training on their resume.
Under New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) § 7.6.2-104.11, food employees need to complete an approved food handler course and successfully pass the exam within 30 days of being hired.
New Mexico defines a "food employee" as a person who handle food, utensils, and food contact surfaces, with a few exceptions.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?
Yes! Just make sure you're signing up for a course that is approved by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). That includes ANSI/ASTM E2659-09 accredited Food Handler Training Certificate Programs.
Our online food handler card training at the Learn2Serve, by 360training, is accredited by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and meets your state requirements in New Mexico.
Additionally, state law requires employers to have a copy of your certificate on the premises at all times, so you'll bring them one. We also recommend you keep another for your files.
How long does a New Mexico food handlers certificate last?
New Mexico food handler certificates are good for three years, by state law.
However, it's always smart to check with your employer or local health authority to find out if they expect you to renew more frequently.
Why should I take food handler training?
First of all, you're required by law to earn a food handler card in most of New Mexico when you work with unpackaged food or food-contact surfaces.
Additionally, food handler training is important for public safety. You need to know how to prevent the transmission of foodborne illnesses to protect yourself, your customers, and your employer.
In 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there was a total of 9 foodborne disease outbreaks in New Mexico. This is similar to the 10 outbreaks reported in 2016.
These numbers may not sound huge, but for its population size, New Mexico has a higher rate of foodborne illness outbreak than half the states in the country. If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help ensure the number of outbreaks starts falling.
What jobs can I get in New Mexico with my food handler license?
In New Mexico, you can use your food handler license at a variety of establishments. Some examples include:
- Casual and fine-dining restaurants
- Fast food and counter-service restaurants
- Coffee shops
- Food trucks
- Convenience stores
- Grocery stores
- Any other establishment serving unpackaged or potentially hazardous food
And within each establishment there are numerous jobs because the food and beverage industry in New Mexico is growing fast.
According to the New Mexico Restaurant Association (NMRA), in 2019 there were 96,400 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 11% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 8% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in New Mexico, 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||$10.02||$20,840|
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 New Mexico?
New Mexico Environmental Department (NMED): The NMED Food Program protects New Mexicans from foodborne illness by conducting outreach, inspecting food establishments, and responding to complaints. Their website is a great resource for food recalls, regulatory requirements, and the New Mexico Food Code.