How do I get Food Safety Certification?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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Everyone who works in food preparation or service in the US and many other places is required to obtain food safety certification. This training provides valuable information about safe food storage temperatures, first aid procedures, reducing the risk of food contamination, and more. Renewable every year, this type of training is usually one full day, which is typically paid by the employer.

There are two types of classes for certification: refresher and basic. A basic course is typically required within the first seven to ten days of employment. Refresher classes are required every year as mandated by public health and safety laws. The purpose of these courses is to improve food safety and reduce the incidences of illness and death.

One of the best ways to get food safety certification is to attend a class. Such classes are routinely offered by any employer who is preparing or serving food, as this is required by law. If these times are not convenient for you, the courses are also available from a wide range of community centers. People who can't find a program can check with their local government health and safety office.


If a workplace requires this certification, it may also offer access to printed refresher course materials. Many locations provide new employees with a printed manual of food safety material. Take the time to read this information. Review the chapter headers to make sure that you are familiar with the sections that pertain directly to your role.

People can also opt to get certified online by watching a series of videos that cover the basic information. Some people prefer to attend a class so that they can ask questions, while others may find online classes sufficient.

Large organizations may be required to appoint a safety lead or safety captain. This role is voluntary, and often incorporated into a supervisor’s responsibility. This position has extra responsibilities, including regular checks of food storage temperatures, inspection of pest control measures, regular communication with staff, and posting visible reminder signs about food safety. Training is provided by the local public health department.

Upon completion of the food safety course, or a review of the material, candidates must complete a multiple choice test. Upon successful completion, each student is issued a food safety certification. People who benefit the most from this type of training are usually between the ages of 16 and 28.


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Post 2

I wonder what the food safety laws are now? Back when I got certified, it seems there were very few. Now I hear people all the time talk about how the new laws are more strict.

Post 1

I took a food safety test when I was young. I was pretty easy yet had information on it that was very valuable. I worked for a short time as a cook and had to renew my certification every year. After my short time as a cook, I moved on to retail, and never took a food safety test again.

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