How Do I Get Certified?
In the US, it is the NRA's ServSafe
that provides the training resources and certifications for food handlers. In Canada, it is the Canadian Institute for Food Safety
. Both offer educational resources, materials and programs to help attract and develop a strong industry workforce. ServSafe has been the restaurant industry's leading association since 1919, and takes the education programs for certification very seriously with over 960,000 training locations. The Canadian Institute provides educational products and is a strong advocate for better food safety programs in Canada.
In addition, the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals (NRFSP
), is a globally recognized organization that also provides food service industry examinations, standards and best practices such as the Food Safety First Principles for Food Handlers certification. This is a certification program accredited by ANSI against the ASTM standards for California, Arizona, Texas and Illinois, designed to ensure food handlers have the skills to handle, serve, prepare and display food. This program covers food safety, knowledge about contamination and cross-contamination, time and temperature controls, cleaning and sanitizing, and personal hygiene. In order to earn the certificate, candidates must not only complete the training course, but pass a all-encompassing exam. Finally, Learn2Serve
offers a Food Handling Certification for anyone who handles unpackaged food or equipment, and surfaces or utensils that are exposed to unpackaged foods.
Some of these courses are available online and only take a few hours to complete. For many of them, like ServSafe, you simply select the state where you would like to purchase and choose the Online Course. You will then need to create a User ID and Password, then enter it to access the course. All of the resources listed above offer a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section as well as a step-by-step guide to help the user through the process. Obviously, the goal is to learn proper food handling techniques and procedures, but the side benefit is earning a certification that is respected in the industry and extremely valuable for employment purposes.