Washington DC Food Manager Certification

How do I become a Certified Food Protection Manager in Washington DC?

If you're a designated person in charge at your restaurant, you need to earn a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) identification card issued by DC Health.  You need to: 

  1. Find an ANSI-accredited, DC-approved provider. (That's us! Cross off Step 1!) 
  2. Take your training (optional but recommended) and register for your exam 
  3. Pass your certification exam  
  4. Present your certificate to DC Health and get your ID card 

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What are the District of Columbia's food safety regulations?

Under DCMR § 25-A203, each "person in charge" of a food service establishment in the District of Columbia needs to have a DC Health-issued Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) ID card.  

First,  you need to be certified by an ANSI-accredited and DC-approved CFPM program like Learn2Serve by 360training. A food safety manager training course isn't required by regulations, but strongly recommended to prepare you to ace the CFPM exam. 

Once you pass the exam, you'll take the original exam certificate to the DC Health Food Protection Division, where your Certified Food Manager ID card will be issued.

How long is a DC Health certified food manager ID card valid?

DC Health-issued CFPM cards are valid for three years, counting from the date of the exam. Before it expires, you need to re-take the national food safety certification exam and get a new ID card.

Can you take the Washington DC food manager exam online?

Unfortunately, no one can administer the CFPM exam online. Your exam has to be taken in person so it can be proctored by a third party.  

Visit our ANSI-accredited Certified Food Protection Manager exam enrollment page to learn more about how to register and schedule your test.

Who should get their food manager certification?

In the District of Columbia, each person in charge (on-site manager or supervisor) needs a current and valid CFPM certificate along with their DC Health-issued ID card. In other words, any shift leader or manager will need to earn a certificate.

What does a food manager do and how can they improve food safety?

Food service managers spin a lot of plates (ha). They're in charge of everything from customer service to operations to human resources and team management.

But by law, they're also responsible for ensuring food safety is taken seriously in their establishment. That involves: 

  • Understand local food safety regulations and keep their business in compliance with the law 
  • Train all employees in food safety principles and protocols 
  • Create and enforce policies to minimize food safety hazards 
  • Hold food suppliers and other third parties to appropriate food safety standards  

Due to the level of responsibility, food managers earn a significantly higher salary than servers and other food employees. According to wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here is the average amount of money you can expect to make in senior management positions in the Washington DC foodservice industry:  

Job Title Average Hourly Wage Average Yearly Wage
Food Service Manager $34.13  $70,980 
Chef $31.63  $65,780 

District of Columbia-approved food safety manager certification is an important qualification for getting one of these jobs. 

Why are food managers in Washington DC required to get ANSI certification?

Foodborne illness is a significant threat throughout the United States, including the District of Columbia. According to data from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, over a 10-year period (2003-2012), there were a total of 19 foodborne illness outbreaks. And the two most common pathogen found were Norovirus and Sapovirus—both preventable with the right food safety protocols in place. 

Since food service managers are accountable for food safety training and enforcement, they're in the optimal position to prevent foodborne illnesses. Demonstrating their knowledge by earning ANSI-accredited CFPM certification is one way to ensure they're qualified to tackle the problem.  

ANSI-accredited certification programs meet the highest food safety standards, which is why the ANSI CFPM program has been endorsed by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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