How do I get a food handler card in Ohio?
Finish a short training program and pass an exam, then you can access your certificate of completion immediately. Bring it to your employer or local health authority as proof of training. Enroll now to get your food handler certification in Ohio!
Does Ohio require food handler training?
Yes, but not for everyone. Under Ohio Department of Health rule 3701-21-25, at least one person on every shift needs Person-in-Charge (PIC, formerly "Level One") Certification in Food Protection. Always make sure you look for Ohio-specific training when choosing a course.
Also, some counties require food handler training for all food workers. For example, Wheeling-Ohio County requires a food handler card for all food workers, even dishwashers. Training must be taken from the county or one of their partners.
You'll need to check with your local health department (or your employer) to find out whether your area has special requirements. If you're not required by local regulations, you fall under state jurisdiction.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?
Ohio Person-in-Charge/Level One food protection training can be taken online with an approved provider—like Learn2Serve by 360training!
If your food handler training is regulated at the local level, you need to check with your local health authority to see where you're allowed to complete your training.
How long does a Ohio food handlers certificate last?
As far as the state of Ohio is concerned, Person-in-Charge/Level One training does not expire. However, local health departments may have their own renewal requirements, and some employers may like you to have regular refreshers.
Food handler training generally needs to be repeated every 2-3 years, to help you remember and practice food safety effectively.
Why should I take food handler training?
In some districts in Ohio, you need food handler training to be employed as a food worker. Elsewhere in Ohio, Person-in-Charge training is necessary to qualify you as a shift leader.
And if you plan to work as a food employee in Ohio, you need to know how to avoid exposing yourself and your customers to foodborne disease.
Ohio has its share of foodborne illness, though the number of outbreaks has gone down in recent years. In 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 69 foodborne illness outbreaks in Ohio. This is down from the 80 outbreaks reported in 2016 and 86 reported in 2015.
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 Ohio with my food handler license?
In Ohio, 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.
You can work in a variety of establishments like:
- Restaurants, from fine dining to fast food
- Bakeries, sandwich shops, and delis
- Grocery stores and convenience stores
- Catering services
- Food trucks
- And many more…
And job demand is high because the food and beverage industry in Ohio is growing fast.
According to the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA), in 2019 there were 585,000 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 10% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 9.1% by the year 2029. That's much faster than the overall national growth estimated at 5%.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Ohio, 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||$10.40||$21,630|
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 Ohio?
Ohio Department of Health (ODH): The ODH sets the food protection rules and guidelines for the state. You can find the Ohio Food Code, food recalls, and other food safety resources on their website.
Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA): You can find additional food safety resources regarding produce safety, home bakeries and cottage foods, and safe food production through the ODA.