How do I get a food handler card in Oklahoma?
It depends on where you work. Check your county or municipal health department for their specific requirements. But normally, it's a three-step process:
- Take an approved food handler course
- Pass a multiple-choice test
- Present your training certificate to your employer or local health authority.
Our food handler training is ANSI-accredited and accepted by many Oklahoma employers and counties!
Does Oklahoma require food handler training?
Some counties or municipalities in Oklahoma require food handler training, including:
Note, these jurisdictions usually have very specific requirements about where you can get that training. You'll want to check with your local health authority's requirements before signing up for a class.
In other parts of Oklahoma, food handler training is recommended. It could be required by some employers. Even when that's not the case, food handler training can give you a leg up during your job search, because prospective employers will know you have some of the skills your employer would normally have to teach you.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?
Where food handler training is required, you need to check with your local health authority to see what's allowed. For example, Tulsa provides an online course, but Norman/Moore only offers in-person training.
When you're not limited by law, online training can be an excellent way to get your certificate. Just make sure you sign up with a trustworthy training provider.
Our food handler permit course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). That means it follows the highest standards for food handler training courses.
How long does an Oklahoma food handlers certificate last?
You'll have to check with your local health authority to see when food handler certificates expire in your jurisdiction.
Generally speaking, food handler certification usually needs to be renewed for 2-3 years. That kind of frequency is necessary to maintain your food safety knowledge.
Why should I take food handler training?
Food handler training is required in certain Oklahoma jurisdictions.
In the rest of the state, a food handler card can beef up your resume. It can also protect your establishment's customers and the business's reputation.
In 2017, there was a total of 11 foodborne disease outbreaks in Oklahoma, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This represents an increase in the number of incidents, compared to 8 outbreaks the reported in 2016 and 7 reported in 2015.
If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help keep the number of foodborne illness outbreaks down.
What jobs can I get in Oklahoma with my food handler license?
You can work at a variety of establishments with a food handler card in Oklahoma. Some examples include:
- Restaurants, from fine dining to fast food
- Coffee shops, bakeries, and delis
- Lounges or bars with food menus
- School and health care cafeterias
- Grocery stores
- Convenience stores that serve potentially hazardous food
- Food trucks, carts, and other mobile units
And within each establishment there are numerous jobs because the food and beverage industry in Oklahoma is growing.
According to the Oklahoma Restaurant Association (ORA), in 2019 there were 184,700 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 11% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 7.4% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Oklahoma, 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||$9.32||$19,380|
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 Oklahoma?
Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH): The OSDH is responsible for increasing food safety in food service establishments through a number of actions. That includes developing and implementing regulations, enforcing the Oklahoma Food Code for establishments that are out of compliance, and more. They're a good source for food safety resources regarding service and retail.
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry (ODAFF): The ODAFF enforces food safety relating to food production. You'll find relevant food safety information here.