How do I get a food handler card in West Virginia?
- Take an approved food handler course
- Pass the multiple-choice exam
- Present your training certificate to your employer or local health authority.
Our food handler training is ANSI-accredited and accepted by many West Virginia employers and counties!
Does West Virginia require food handler training?
Yes! Food handler training is required across West Virginia, under WV Code §16-2-16.
But the state left decisions about the specifics in the hands of county health departments, so requirements vary on:
- Where you can get the training (though the state recommends ANSI-accredited)
- How soon it needs to be completed (but it's typically within 30 days of employment)
- How often it needs to be renewed (which ranges from 1 to 3 years)
Before you get started earning your food handler card, ask your employer or local health authority, so you can be sure you have your facts straight for your county.
Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?
That's up to your county health department—they decide what kind of training is acceptable, and who you can get the training from. Before you sign up for a class, find out what training is accepted by your county.
Our food handler permit course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and follows the highest standards for food handler training courses.
ANSI-accredited courses are accepted in many West Virginia counties.
How long does a West Virginia food handlers certificate last?
Individual local health authorities choose the renewal frequency for their jurisdiction. But by West Virginia statute, renewal periods must be at least one year, but not more than three years.
Why should I take food handler training?
If you want to be a food employee in West Virginia, you must earn a food handler card.
It's required because working with unpackaged food can pose a public health risk. Your decisions can either encourage or prevent the transmission of foodborne illnesses in your community.
West Virginia usually has a relatively low number of foodborne illness outbreaks, but sometimes you'll see a spike. In 2016, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 11 outbreaks in West Virginia, compared to just 4 in 2017.
If you practice what you learn in food handler training, you can help ensure the number of outbreaks stays low.
What jobs can I get in West Virginia with my food handler license?
In West Virginia, you can work at a variety of establishments if you have your food handler card. Some examples include:
- Grocery stores
- Lounges or bars
- Food trucks and other mobile food vendors
- Other eateries or markets that serve unpackaged food
And within each establishment there are numerous jobs because the food and beverage industry in West Virginia is growing.
According to the West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association (WVHTA), in 2019 there were 72,500 restaurant and food service jobs, which translates to 10% of total employment. More importantly, that number is projected to grow 7.3% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in West Virginia, 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||$10.26||$21,330|
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 West Virginia?
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services (WV DHHS): The WV DHHS is responsible for administering programs that ensure food safety in food manufacturing, service, and retail establishments. It's a useful source of information on the West Virginia Food Code, guidance documents, and more.
West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA): The WVDA has food safety responsibilities under their Farmers Market Program and the Produce Safety Program. You'll find relevant food safety regulations and resources on their website.