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Environmental Health

Food Handler Card Requirements

Who Needs a Food Handler Card?
Any  Food  Handler  in  a  food  facility  that  prepares,  handles  or  serves  nonprepackaged potentially hazardous food shall successfully pass an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) accredited food handler training program.
  • Food Handlers must obtain a Food Handler Card within 30 days after the date of hire and maintain a valid Food Handler Card for the duration of employment.
  • Food Handler Cards are valid for three years from the date of issuance.
  • A Food Handler Card is not required for the following:
    • Certified Farmers’ Markets
    • Commissaries
    • Grocery stores including convenience stores, except for separately owned food facilities that are located in the grocery store
    • Licensed Health Care facilities
    • Mobile Support Units (not to be confused with Mobile Food Facilities that are required)
    • Public and private school cafeterias
    • Retail stores where a majority of sales are from a pharmacy
    • Restricted Food Service facilities
    •  Temporary Food Facilities (TFFs)
    • An  elderly  nutrition  program,  administered  by  the  California  Department  of Aging pursuant to the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3001 et seq.)
    • Any  city,  county,  city  and  county,  state,  or  regional  facility  used  for  the confinement  of  adults  or  minors,  including,  but  not  limited  to,  a  county  jail, juvenile hall, camp, ranch, or residential facility.
    • Food facilities with approved in-house food safety training
    • Food facilities subject to a collective bargaining agreement
    • Venues  with  snack  bar  services  in  which  the  majority  of  sales  are  from admission tickets  (excluding  any  area  in  which  restaurant-style  sit-down service is provided)
  • Employers shall maintain records onsite of valid Food Handler Cards for each Food Handler.

How do I get a Food Handler Card?
Food Handler Cards must be issued from an ANSI accredited training provider that meets ASTM International E2659-09 Standard Practice for Certificate Programs. A list of approved trainings can be found at: