North Carolina Food Handler Card Training

How do I get a food handler card in North Carolina?

It’s simple to get your food handler card in North Carolina.  First, complete a brief training program and take the exam.  Once you pass, you'll get a certificate of completion that you take to your employer as proof of training. Be sure to ask if any additional steps are required by local authorities.  Enroll now to get your food handler certification in North Carolina!

Individual Course

ANAB-Accredited Food Handler Training

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



Meet North Carolina regulations AND train for your food handler card.


Does North Carolina require food handler training?

Food handler training is recommended in North Carolina to support the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)'s mission of reducing the risk of foodborne illness through education, leadership, and resources.

Food handler training can boost your resume for jobs in many types of establishments, like:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands
  • Mobile food units (food trucks)
  • Meat markets
  • Hotels or bed and breakfasts
  • And more

Some cities or counties may have stricter food safety training requirements.  It’s always best practice to double check with your city/county or employer to ensure you get necessary qualifications.

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

Yes!  Just make sure the training provider has a good reputation.

Our food handler license course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is ANSI-accredited and follows the highest standards for food handler training.

It covers everything you need to know for compliance in North Carolina. That includes:

  • 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

How long does a North Carolina food handlers certificate last?

North Carolina food handler certificates generally need to be reissued every 2-3 years, because regular refreshers are important.  Check with your employer or local health authority for exact requirements.

Why should I take food handler training?

Food handler training can give you a leg up during your job search, because prospective employers will know you have food safety knowledge and take it seriously.

Plus, if you intend to be a food worker in North Carolina, you need to understand how to keep your customers safe from foodborne illness.

Especially because the number of outbreaks have been creeping up in recent years. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 20 foodborne disease outbreaks in North Carolina in 2017. This is higher than the 15 outbreaks reported in 2016 and the 12 reported in 2015.

By practicing the food safety techniques, you learn in food handler training, you can be part of an effort to reduce the number of outbreaks in the state.

What jobs can I get in North Carolina with my food handler permit?

In North Carolina, a food handler permit can help you land many types of jobs. The training's designed for anyone who works with unpackaged food or food-contact surfaces.

That includes positions like:

And job demand is high because the food and beverage industry in North Carolina is growing extremely fast.

According to the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA), in 2019 there were 481,900 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 11% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 13.3% by the year 2029. Compare that to the overall national job growth rate of just 5%.

If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in North Carolina, 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 $9.63 $20,040
Waiter/Waitress $10.77 $22,400
Fast Food Cook $9.14 $19,020
Restaurant Cook $11.99 $24,950

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 North Carolina?

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS): The NCDHHS protects public health by developing standards and monitoring enforcement activities for food handling establishments. You can find resources here for reducing the risk of foodborne illness and promoting food safety.

NC State Extension: This university program transforms science into everyday solutions.  They offer information on food safety as part of that mission.

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