California Food Handler Card
What is the California Food Handler Card Law – SB 303?
The California Food Handler Card Law - SB 303 requires all food handlers to obtain their food handler card from an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited training provider that meets ASTM International E2659-09 Standard Practice for Certificate Programs such as Premier Food Safety. If an employee obtains their food handler card from a company which is not ANSI accredited, their card will not be recognized.
A minimum score of 70 percent on the examination is required to successfully complete the training. The training will go for a minimum of two and a half hours.
All food handler’s hired after June 1, 2011 are required to obtain a food handler card within 30 days of their date of hire. A food handler must maintain a valid food handler card for the duration of his or her employment as a food handler.
Food handler cards are valid for three years from the date of issuance, regardless of whether the food handler changes employers during that period.
A “food handler” is defined as an individual who is involved in the preparation, storage, or service of food in a food facility.
The California Food Handler Card Law is applicable to all food handlers who work in California except for those in Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. For those residing in those counties, please contact your local health department for more information.
Food handlers employed at any of the following are exempt from the law:
- Certified farmers markets
- Grocery stores, except for separately owned food facilities
- Licensed health care facilities
- Mobile support units
- Public and private school cafeterias
- Restricted food service facilities
- Retail stores in which a majority of sales are from a pharmacy
California Food Handler Card
What are your training options?
Premier offers the following training options for the California Food Handler Card:
A self-paced online training, which incorporates media-rich learning experiences-graphics, audio, and interactive learning exercises. It is a highly effective educational learning program. Our eLearning fulfills training requirements for most counties and states nationwide. Duration of the course is approximately 2-3 hours.
You will be able to print your Food Handler Card as soon as you finish the training and pass the final exam.Register for Online Training
1-19 : $13/ License
100+ : Get a quote
Training is provided in English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese.
"Frequently Asked Questions" - Food Handler Card California
EMPLOYERS - Owner / Manager
What do I need to do as an owner /manager to be in compliant with the California Food Handler Card Law?
Each food handler that works at your establishment must have a valid California Food Handler Card. Each food facility must maintain records documenting this and be able to provide records to the local enforcement officer upon request.
Who pays for employees to obtain the California Food Handler Card?
If employees are required to obtain the training in their own time, then the employer is not required to pay for the training and card.
Employers are required to pay for the training if they provide an in-house training program that meets specific requirements under the law. The training must be offered at no cost to the employee during normal working hours and employees must be paid for their time.
I want to offer the California Food Handler training in-house. How do I stay compliant?
In-house food safety training programs is compliant with the California Food Handler if certain requirements are met:
(A) The food facility uses a training course that has been approved for use by the food facility in another state that has adopted the requirements described in Subpart 2-103.11 of the 2001 edition of the model Food Code, not including the April 2004 update, published by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
(B) Upon request, the food facility provides evidence satisfactory to the local enforcement officer demonstrating that the food facility training program has been approved for use in another state pursuant to subparagraph (A).
(C) The training is provided during normal work hours, and at no cost to the employee.EMPLOYEES
I already have my Food Manager Certification. Do I need to get my California Food Handler Card as well?
No. The Food Manager Certification is a higher, more comprehensive certificate training that meets and exceeds the Food Handler Card law requirements; therefore you are not required to obtain the Food Handler Card.
What topics are covered in the California Food Handler Card training?
Topics discussed in the training include:
- - Food-borne illness
- - Biological, chemical and physical hazards
- - Cross-contamination
- - Practicing proper personal hygiene
- - Cleaning and sanitizing
- - Preparing, cooking and serving food safely
When will I receive my California Food Handler Card and Certificate?
If you took your examination using our online training, you will be able to download and print your card and certificate instantly once you have passed your test.
If you took your examination at an instructor-led or private on-site class, you will receive your results via email within 2 weeks from date of class.
What happens if I fail the examination?
You are required to achieve 70% or more to pass the California Food Handler Card examination. If you fail the examination, you are able to take the test, either online or at one of our classes.
For a limited time only, we are offering one FREE retest per person if you fail your online training.
For students that took examinations at an instructor-led class, we are offering a discounted retest fee.
Please give us a call at (800) 676-3121 to find out more about retesting.
I have already obtained my California Food Handler Card from my county. Do I need a state card as well?
If you have a valid California Food Handler Card issued by your county before the state law came in effect, you do not need to get another card.
However, if you have obtained your Food Handler Card in San Diego, Riverside or San Bernardino counties, and you will be working in an establishment outside of those counties, you are required to obtain a California Food Handler Card to satisfy both local and state requirements.
I have a food handler card from another state. Is it valid in California?
No, you must obtain a California Food Handler Card. However, if the card issued in another state is from an ANSI-accredited training provider, then it will be valid in California.
I’m working a summer, part-time job while I am in school. Do I still need my California Food Handler Card?
Yes, you will still need a valid California Food Handler card for the duration of your employment.
I volunteer at a soup kitchen, food bank or a volunteer run restaurant. Do I need to have a California Food Handler Card?
Volunteers are not required to obtain a California Food Handler Card. The law only applies to food handlers who are “hired” by food facilities.
I am a non-union employee and work at a restaurant that is unionized. Do I have to obtain a California Food Handler Card?
No. The law provides that if a food facility is subject to a collective bargaining agreement with its food handlers then the food facility is exempt (meaning that all food handlers employed by that food facility are exempt).
I am a part-time or temporary employee. Am I required to get a Food Handler Card?
Yes, all food handlers, regardless of how many hours they work, are required to obtain a Food Handler Card.