Tennessee Food Handler Card Training

How do I get a food handler card in Tennessee?

Getting a food handler card in Tennessee couldn't be easier.  Simply:

  1. Take a quick training program
  2. Pass a multiple-choice test
  3. 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!

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 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.

You'll also make yourself a more attractive hire, since you'll already be trained in the food safety principles your employer would otherwise have to teach you. 

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?

To work as a food service employee in Tennessee, you need to know the rules for protecting yourself and your customers from foodborne illness.

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:

You can work in a variety of establishments like:

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
Dishwasher $9.84 $20,470
Waiter/Waitress $9.55 $19,870
Fast Food Cook $9.85 $20,490
Restaurant Cook $11.72 $24,370

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.

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