How to Go About Obtaining a Food Handler Certificate or License

There are several steps you need to take, if you are keen on obtaining a food handler certificate. Before proceeding to look at the said steps, we may clarify that the food handler certificate is one that you need if you are to (legally) hold a work position which involves handling food meant for public consumption. That includes working in restaurants and other retail outlets which sell foodstuffs to the public. It is also includes working in food manufacture and distribution industries.

Food Handlers Permit vs. License vs. Certificate

It is worth pointing out that the food handler license goes by different names. There are some places where, for instance, it is referred to as food handler permit. There are other places where it is referred to as food handler license. In other places, it is referred to as food handler certification. In all cases though, the essence is the same: as it certifies that the holder has the necessary training to safely handle human food.

It is also worth pointing out that the steps necessary in obtaining the said food handler certificate vary from one jurisdiction to another. This is because of the fact that, in most jurisdictions, the issuance of these certificates is governed by local authority bylaws, rather than national or federal laws.

How To Get A Food Handlers License

Generally speaking, in most places, if you are up for obtaining a food handler certificate you need to:

  • Study the necessary course material. In most jurisdictions, the material you need to master, in order to obtain a food handler certificate is not ‘deep.’ The curriculum normally revolves around simple things such as procedures for safe handling and storage of food, hygiene, the role of health inspectors (and how to relate with them)… and so on. It is pretty much the sort of stuff you can read and master within hours. In fact, most of it is common sense stuff, though you still need to read the necessary materials in order to obtain the right terminology with which you can answer questions in the test successfully.
  • Book the necessary test. In most jurisdictions, you need to pass a relatively simple test, for you to obtain the food handler certificate. The test is usually scheduled to be taken on certain dates of the month or on certain days of the week. In most cases, the people to contact in order to book this sort of test are the public health department officials.
  • Pay the necessary fees. The fees you need to pay for the exam and the certification can, in most cases, only be termed as ‘nominal.’ You have to keep it in mind that this sort of certification is issued by the government, and is therefore highly subsidized.
  • Sit the relevant test. As mentioned earlier, there is a test you need to pass, if you are keen on obtaining a food handler certificate. It is usually made up of many (but thankfully fairly simple) multiple choice questions. It is not really the sort of test you’d need to trans-night preparing for, but it helps to go through the preparation kit once or twice, in order to have the confidence to pass this test.
  • Take the relevant medical tests (in some cases). There are some jurisdictions where you have to be tested for a specified common raft of infectious diseases, before you are issued with the food handler certificate.
  • Await for issuance of the food handler certificate. Sometimes, the food handler certificate is issued immediately after you pass the relevant tests. But in other cases, you have to wait for a few days, before the certificate is posted to you.

Each area is a bit different but this list will get you on the right track.

Comments are closed.