South Carolina Food Handler Card Training

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

Getting your food handler card in South Carolina is straightforward.  You just need to take a brief course, pass the multiple-choice test, and you can print your certificate of completion right away as proof of training.  That's it!  Enroll now to get your food handler card in South Carolina.

Individual Course

Food Handler Training

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

10.00 7.00
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Does South Carolina require food handler training?

Yes, for some employees, specifically the person in charge will need to complete an accredited food handler program.

Our food handler permit course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which follows the highest standards for food handler training.

Some cities or counties may have different requirements from the state.  It’s always best practice to double check with your city/county or employer to ensure you meet the obligations of a food handler in your jurisdiction.

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

You can!  Getting your food handler permit online takes less time and money than you in-person courses.

You'll learn how to:

  • Define food safety and its goals, benefits, impact, and proper adherence
  • Identify biohazards, food spoilage, sources of contamination, and symptoms of foodborne illness
  • Control time and temperature of safety-sensitive foods to hinder the growth of dangerous pathogens
  • Wash your hands effectively and avoid contamination through hand contact
  • Sanitize surfaces, equipment, and implements properly
  • Acquire, receive, and store food safely
  • Identify and eradicate a pest infestation

How long does a South Carolina food handlers certificate last?

Periodic refresher courses are important to keeping food safety at the front of your mind.  South Carolina food handler permit is generally valid for 2-3 years, but you should ask your employer or local health authority what they require.

Why should I take food handler training?

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) requires food employees to abide by certain food safety protocols. 

By getting food handler certification, you can get an edge over other job applicants by coming in with the knowledge to obey the law.

Food handler training can help you with jobs in:

  • Restaurants
  • Delis, retail meat markets, bakeries, seafood markets
  • School cafeterias
  • Grocery stores and convenience stores

Aside from beefing up your resume, you need to have the knowledge to keep yourself and your customers safe from foodborne illness if you're going to serve food in Indiana.

It's serious business—the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 70% of reported norovirus ("stomach flu") outbreaks are caused by food handlers working a shift while contagious.

In 2017, the CDC reported a boom in foodborne disease outbreaks in South Carolina: 27. That's a significant jump compared to the 15 outbreaks reported in 2016 and the 18 reported in 2015.

If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help bring the number of outbreaks back down.

What jobs can I get in South Carolina with my food handler license?

As we stated above, there are several establishments you can work at with your South Carolina food handler license. Within those businesses, food handler training will help you with any position that involves handling unpackaged food or food-contact surfaces.

That includes:

And within each establishment there are numerous jobs because the food and beverage industry in South Carolina is growing extremely fast.

According to the South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (SCRLA), in 2019 there were 234,200 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 11% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 13.4% by the year 2029. Compared that to the national job growth rate of 5%.

If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in South 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 $9.61 $19,980
Waiter/Waitress $9.76 $20,290
Fast Food Cook $9.53 $19,810
Restaurant Cook $11.38 $23,680

Another thing to note is that you’ll need your South Carolina food handler card to get any of these jobs. And if you already have it before you apply, you’ll be way ahead of the competition!

Where can I find more information about food safety in South Carolina?

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC): The DHEC regulates food safety in food service establishments as well as dairy production and food manufacturing operations.  You can find educational materials on food safety here.

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