How do I get a food handler card in Tennessee?
- Take a quick training program
- Pass a multiple-choice test
- Access your certificate of completion right away
Your certificate of completion works as proof of training for your employer or local health authority. Enroll now to get your food handler certification in Tennessee!
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Does Tennessee require food handler training?
The Tennessee Department of Health encourages food service workers to take food safety training to learn safe and sanitary food handling practices.
That includes topics like:
- food time and temperature requirements
- proper food acquisition
- transmission of foodborne diseases
- handwashing procedures
- effective washing of food contact services
Some cities or counties may have stricter food safety training requirements. Ask your city/county or employer, to ensure you get required training.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?
Absolutely. It's faster, more cost-effective, and more convenient than in-person classes.
Our food handler permit course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is ANSI-accredited. That means it follows the highest standards for food handler training.
How long does a Tennessee food handlers certification last?
Regular refreshers are the key to compliance, which is why Tennessee food handler certification is generally recommended every 2-3 years. Check with your employer or local health authority for specific requirements.
Why should I take food handler training?
Food employees play a more important role than you might think in public health. For example, an estimated 70% of reported food poisoning (norovirus) outbreaks can be traced back to contagious food handlers, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 2017, the CDC recorded 17 foodborne disease outbreaks in the state of Tennessee. That's down from the 29 outbreaks reported in 2016.
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 Tennessee with my food handler license?
In Tennessee, a food handler license qualifies you for many types of positions. Anyone who handles unpackaged food, food-contact surfaces, equipment, or utensils can benefit from this type of food safety training.
That includes jobs like:
- Cooks or food preparation workers
- Dishwashers and bussers
- Waitstaff, food runners, and bartenders
- Event staff
- Store clerks where unpackaged food is sold
- Anyone whose job involves unpackaged food or food-contact surfaces and implements
You can work in a variety of establishments like:
- Sit-down restaurants
- Fast food establishments
- Other counter-service restaurants
- Bakeries and donut shops
- Cafeterias and commissaries
- Grocery stores and convenience stores
- Food trucks
- And many more…
And job demand is high because the food and beverage industry in Tennessee is growing extremely fast.
According to the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association (TNHTA), in 2019 there were 330,000 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 11% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 10.9% by the year 2029. That's more than double the general nation-wide average.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Tennessee, 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||$9.85||$20,490|
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 Tennessee?
Tennessee Department of Agriculture: The Food Safety Section of the DOA administers state laws, rules, and regulations for food retail and manufacturing in the state. It's an important source of information about food safety.
Tennessee Department of Health: The DOH ensures food safety in food service establishments (restaurants), hotels, and bed & breakfasts.