How do I get a food handler card in Washington DC?
Acquiring a food handler card in Washington DC is easy. Once you finish a quick course and pass the exam, you can get your certificate of completion instantly and give it to your employer as proof of training. Be sure to check if any extra steps are required by local authorities. Enroll now to get your food handler certification in Washington DC!
Does Washington DC require food handler training?
Food handler training is recommended in Washington DC. It supports the District of Columbia Department of Health mission of ensuring the safety of retail foods and food services in the state.
Food handler training covers everything you need to know for food safety compliance in the District of Columbia. That includes:
- Effective handwashing techniques and protocols
- Safe acquisition and storage of food
- Time and temperature controls that prevent pathogen growth
- Proper sanitization of equipment and food-contact surfaces
- Measures to prevent cross-contamination
Can I take an online course to get my food handler permit?
You can! Getting your food handler permit online is faster and more convenient than other options.
Our food handler permit course at Learn2Serve, by 360training, is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)—meaning it follows the highest training standards in the industry.
How long does a District of Columbia food handlers certificate last?
Why should I take food handler training?
Food handler training can give you a leg up during your job search, because prospective employers will know you have food safety knowledge and take it seriously.
Plus, if you intend to be a food worker in Washington DC, you need to understand how to keep your customers safe from foodborne illness.
Your decisions can play an important role in public health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 70% of reported "stomach flu" (norovirus) outbreaks originate from food handlers who come to work while contagious.
In 2017, the CDC reported 3 foodborne disease outbreaks in the District of Columbia. That's a fairly high outbreak rate for the population size.
By practicing what you learn in food handler training, you can play a pivotal role in reducing the rate of foodborne illness where you live.
What jobs can I get in Washington DC with my food handler license?
In Washington DC, a food handler license is useful in any position that handles unpackaged food and/or food-contact surfaces, equipment, or utensils.
That includes jobs like:
- Chefs, line cooks, and prep workers
- Waitstaff, food runners, and bartenders
- Bussers and dishwashers
- Catering staff
- Store clerks where unpackaged food is sold
You can work in a variety of establishments like:
- Grocery stores, retail markets, and wholesale markets
- Food Trucks
- Hotels with food service
- And more
And job demand is high because the food and beverage industry in Washington DC is still growing.
According to the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), in 2019 there were 65,200 restaurant and food service jobs. That's 8% of total employment in the District of Columbia. That number is projected to grow 6.1% by the year 2029.
If you’re looking to get a job in the food and beverage industry in Washington DC, 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||$14.05||$29,220|
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 Washington DC?
District of Columbia Department of Health: The DOH has regulatory authority over food safety and serves as an important source of information.
District of Columbia Municipal Regulations: Find the District's sanitation regulations here, including the DC Food Code.