Servsafe Certification: The Complete Guide to Passing the Exam

When starting a new career in the hospitality industry, you want to make sure you have the right skills and qualifications to land the job. 

Servsafe offers certification courses in many areas, which can verify your skills to future employers and open new doors in your career. And while the salary for hospitality positions may vary, a certification course in your profession can bring new opportunities for receiving better compensation in your career.

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about ServSafe, the certification process, and exam details so that you can become a certified professional. So read on to learn how to get ServSafe certified and bring your career to the next level.

What is ServSafe?

Servsafe is a provider of educational resources for careers in the food service and hospitality industry. Since 1919 they have been the leading association in the restaurant industry and have created their programs to benefit the industry and its workers. 

The ServSafe® Certification and training program has accreditation by the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The NRA delivers training to foodservice industry workers with the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation and is a respected authority organization for the hospitality industry.

Servsafe and the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation developed the ServSafe® Certification and training program to guide individuals on proper food safety and put them on the path toward a career in the restaurant industry.  

Who Should Be ServSafe Certified?

While becoming ServSafe certified is handy, it can also be required to work in some professional situations. Read on to learn more about the different professions and careers with skill sets that can be verified through Servsafe’s food service certification programs.

ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification 

This course and exam were created for individuals who wish to pursue a career in food service management. The ServSafe manager certification verifies their knowledge and ability to safely manage, own and operate a food industry establishment. Course participants will learn skills to keep customers and workers safe and satisfied. 

ServSafe Food Handler Certification 

The ServSafe food handler certification is for people who wish to gain basic food safety knowledge and training. In addition, this certification is beneficial for individuals who must verify these skills to progress in their food service careers, as some hospitality industry employers may require this.  

ServSafe Alcohol Certification

An Alcohol Certification course teaches responsibility in handling and creating alcoholic beverages and proper procedures to ensure safety in workplaces that serve alcohol. This course can benefit individuals who work with or around alcoholic beverages. Some areas and employers may require this certification for certain positions, like bartenders, hosts, bouncers, and restaurant servers.

ServSafe Allergens Certification

Consumer safety is of the utmost importance for creating, serving, and handling food in the hospitality industry. This is especially true when it comes to allergens, which is why the ServeSafe Allergens Certification verifies proper knowledge and skills for industry professionals to ensure safety and responsibility in their work. This course goes over proper sanitation procedures and similar topics to avoid food allergen contamination.

ServSafe Workplace Certification

So what is “ServSafe certified” anyway, and what does it all mean? Well, the ServSafe Workplace Certification was developed to teach workplace safety. Professionals working in the restaurant industry can utilize and benefit from the information provided in this course, to maintain a safe and appropriate work environment. Some of the topics covered in this course include the proper handling of harassment and safety risks in the workplace.

How Do You Become ServSafe Certified?

ServSafe provides easy and helpful ways to become certified through their training programs. Students need only to learn from the course information and pass the final exam to verify their skills in their field of study. Their program is accommodating to participants, as they may take courses online or in an in-person classes. 

You can access helpful information for review through ServSafe’s course manual, as the manual resources and the ServSafe free practice quizzes are the best ways to study the course material. When you’re ready to test your knowledge, you will then take your ServSafe exam. Be sure to take note of the number of allowable attempts, passing grades, as well as the length of your course exam. This information is available on the ServSafe Site.

A ServSafe certificate is a good choice for individuals who want their skill verification to be recognized in the hospitality industry. To receive proper certification to prove your knowledge, you must obtain certification through a program accredited by the Conference for Food Protection Standards for Accreditation of Food Protection Manager Certification. While not all certification programs are accredited, ServSafe’s program is, as are some other programs including, Prometric, NRFSP, and 360 Training.

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming ServSafe Certified

To help you certify your skills and pass the ServSafe test, we have created a complete guide on everything you’ll need to know. This section will discuss the course requirements, assessment options, training materials, exam preparation, and where to find your ServSafe course.

Step 1: Check Your State and Local Requirements

Different areas may play by different rules when it comes to certifications. To make sure that ServSafe’s certification course is right for you, check your region’s requirements for the profession you wish to obtain.

Step 2: Choose Your Desired Training and Exam Options

ServSafe offers options for training and exams to accommodate the preferences of their course participants. Course and exam variations include different formats to meet your needs, schedule, and regulatory requirements.

Step 3: Find an Instructor or Class Near You

To ensure that you are getting proper training and certification through our course, participants should verify the validity of their training business. The legitimacy of your instructor/class should be determined through independent sources before paying for the course, exam, or course materials.

Step 4: Purchase Classroom Training Materials

For ServSafe training taking place in a classroom, the resources required for certification may depend on your course, so you should confirm with your instructor what materials you might need to purchase or may be provided. For ServSafe certification online courses, participants will need to purchase the course and the exam voucher.

Step 5: Complete the ServSafe Training Course

Once you have adequately prepared for your ServSafe training, you will need to complete the course lessons and study the materials. Online ServSafe programs only allow a limited window of time before the course expires, so be sure to check your course-specific information to see how long you will have to complete it.

Step 6: Take (and Pass!) the Exam

After completing your course, you will need to take and pass the exam to verify your knowledge and receive your certification. Upon passing the exam, you will receive your certificate from your proctor and be ready to use it to further your career.

ServSafe Certification FAQs

What Does it Mean to be ServSafe Certified?

ServSafe Certification verifies that the recipients have sufficient knowledge in their particular field of study. In addition, it proves that the individual who possesses it has received education in proper food safety.

How Much Does ServSafe Certification Cost?

At the time of publication for this piece, a ServSafe Certification cost ranges from below $10 to $304 based on the qualification subject. The median price of ServSafe certifications is approximately $20.

Is ServSafe Hard to Pass?

The difficulty level of the ServSafe exam can depend on the certification subject and the amount of information you have retained through studying the course materials. In order to pass a ServSafe evaluation, you must score at least a 75% on the test.

How Long is ServSafe Certification Valid?

A ServSafe Certification is generally valid for individuals and recognized for a three-year period. This may depend, however, on the requirements specified by state or by the individual’s employer. After this time, individuals will need to become recertified.

What Jobs Can You Get with a ServSafe Certification?

The jobs that you can qualify for through ServSafe certification may depend on the requirements deemed by the workplace location or employer. However, jobs that generally require skills certified by ServSafe courses include servers, food managers, bartenders, and more.

Final Tips for Becoming ServSafe Certified

Remember, proper knowledge and safety skills are necessary for hospitality industry workplaces to ensure the health and happiness of our customers and each other. By learning the materials and passing the course, you can verify your skills and take on new career paths as a certified ServSafe professional.

For more information on hospitality trends and restaurant industry-related topics, visit our blog. And if you would like to take the stress out of employee onboarding, Adia can help. We connect vetted workers with open positions through our online staffing platform. 

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