Food handlers working in the restaurant industry must follow proper rules and protocols to ensure the safety of their customers and other workplace staff. Therefore, when hiring food handlers, many dining establishments require their workers to obtain a food handler card to verify that they have received the training and knowledge necessary to perform in the role safely and effectively. Read on to learn more about food handler’s certificates and how to choose the best program to earn your food handler certification online quickly and easily.
What is a Food Handler Certificate?
A Food Handler Certificate verifies the proper training of individuals in food handler positions to verify their skills and ensure safety for clients and other members of the workplace. Food handler’s certificates are required in many situations for workers pursuing food handling positions. This certificate can be earned either in person or online through accredited programs. To achieve certification, participants generally must complete a certification course and pass an exam. However, the steps and requirements to gaining proper certification may differ between locations.
Benefits of Being a Certified Food Handler
Many benefits can come with obtaining an online food handler certification card. First, depending on the path you choose, having this certification can help you establish yourself in a career with a range of salaries. The average salary for hospitality workers can range depending on the position, and many hospitality workplace trends have suggested that employers may be increasing the minimum wage. Additionally, many states and regions require workers to have food handler training to work in a food industry business. Even if they do not, dining establishment owners may enforce regulatory conditions that require this certificate as a qualification to hire workers. Either way, being a certified food handler can help you improve your resume and open opportunities for new jobs in the hospitality industry.
How to Get a Food Handlers Card
Food handlers’ cards are typically sought after by individuals who must undergo food handler certification training after being hired to work at an establishment that prepares or serves food. The process to obtain a food handlers card may differ from state to state, and the food handler licensing authority in your area may have unique rules about the qualifications to receive this license. For example, some area laws can require a different minimum number of hours that one must devote to food safety training, so it is vital to research the rules that may be specific to the area.
However, obtaining a food handlers card generally involves taking a food handler safety training course and gaining enough experience to pass the food handler certification exam.
The Top Online Food Handler Certification Programs
To help you get started on your new career, we have researched the top online food handler certification programs and provided them in a list below. Along with the program names are information about the duration and cost of the program and program features to help you choose the best program for you. In addition, we will be discussing the pros and cons of each program and information about the testing and certification processes.
1. ServSafe Food Handler Certification
Duration: 50 – 90 minutes
The ServSafe Food Handler Certification course is a low-cost option for verifying your food handler skills and knowledge. In addition to it only costing $15, the program offers other advantages as well. The ServSafe certification course and exam are available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. It is also administered by the National Restaurant Association and has an excellent reputation in the industry.
This course does come with some drawbacks, however. For example, to complete the online course, you need to access it on a computer with specific hardware and software requirements, making this impossible for some individuals. Additionally, the ServSafe Food Handlers Card is only recognized by the National Restaurant Association for three years.
The certification process for this program involves completing either an Online or In-Person course and passing the ServSafe Food Handlers test.
2. Learn 2 Serve
Duration: 60 minutes
Another excellent option for gaining food training online is through the Learn2Serve program. This online program provides state-approved online training courses and courses for teams, such as groups of workforce staff members. The website lets you select your state and shows you which method is available, so you know that your certification will apply to your local law’s regulatory food safety certification requirements. The courses generally take between two and four hours to complete and can be taken online at the student’s own pace for a low price.
The course is for individuals hoping to earn a food handling certification. However, the website states that students need to fill out an additional application to get their full permit.
To earn a certificate of completion, students must complete the lessons and pass the final exam with a score of at least 70%. The certification provided by Learn2Serve is proof that recipients have completed a food safety training course.
3. eFood Handlers
Duration: 60 minutes
eFood Handlers is a national, ANSI-accredited provider of food safety training. Their food handler certificate online program has resources to provide quality training for every learning style, including videos and learning prices. The inexpensive food handling course online can be completed quickly as training is only 1 hour long. In addition, the course is mobile-friendly and offers unlimited exam retakes at no additional charge.
Most US states approve the food handler’s online certification provided by the program, so it is crucial to verify that your state supports it before proceeding with this course.
Gaining certification through this program requires that students complete the course and pass the exam to receive their certificate.
Food Handler Certificate FAQs
How Long Does It Take to Get a Food Handler Certificate Online?
The duration of obtaining a food handler certificate online depends on which online food handler certificate program you choose. Generally, most certificate courses take from 1 to 16 hours to complete, and participants then need to pass an exam to verify their knowledge of the information provided by the course.
How Long Does Food Handler Certification Last?
According to the rules set out by the state that you are working in, food handler certification may need renewal. Generally, food handling certification training needs to be repeated every 2 to 5 years to verify that you have retained your knowledge of effective and proper food handling practices.
What is a Food Handlers Permit for?
Food Handlers Permits are certificates that verify that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to handle food products in your profession. Some establishments require their workers to have food handler permits for them to employment. This certificate also may be required by specific area laws for an individual to open a restaurant or dining establishment or work as a food handler. For example, The California Food Handler Card law requires that restaurant employees receive a reasonable level of training in food safety to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses. Food handlers permits can verify that an individual has received this training.
What Happens Once You Get a Food Handler Certification?
Food handler certifications are a great tool to help you get a step up in your career. By becoming food handler certified, you verify your skills and knowledge, leading to more open doors for your future. Once you have obtained your food handler license, you can pursue better work opportunities with confidence.
For more assistance on starting your career in the hospitality industry, visit our website for more helpful resources. Additionally, for those hiring for their business, we offer resources like Server Job Description examples and other important information. And if you would like to leave the work to the professionals, Adia can help. We are an online staffing program dedicated to matching vetted workers to fill open positions.
Download the Adia staffing app today to learn more.