About the Online Training
- Course Duration: 90 minutes (including exam)
- Number of exam attempts: Unlimited (after 2 failed attempts, the course must be viewed from the beginning)
- Minimum passing score: 70%
- Languages: English, Spanish (Español), Chinese (中文), and Korean (한국어)
- 100% online and mobile friendly
- A Food Handlers Card is required for all food handlers in California within 30 days of hire
- Cards must be issued by an ANSI-approved training provider
- Cards are valid for 3 years
- Accepted throughout California, except for Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties
Please note that the California Food Handler Card is not valid in San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego counties. To purchase the San Diego Food Handler Card training please click here.
What is the California Food Handler Law?
The California Food Handlers Card Law (based on SB303) requires all food handlers, unless exempt, to get a Food Handlers Card within 30 days of date of new hire and renew every 3 years.
How do I get a California Food Handlers Card?
The card issued upon successful completion of an ANSI-approved food safety program and a 40-question exam with a minimum score of 70%.
Who is considered a food handler?
A food handler is any individual who is involved in the preparation, storage, or service of food in a food facility.
Are there any exceptions to the California Food Handlers Card Law?
Food handlers employed at any of the following are exempt from the law:
- Temporary food facilities (food booths),
- Certified farmers’ markets,
- Commissaries, grocery stores (including convenience stores),
- Licensed health care facilities,
- Mobile support units,
- Public and private school cafeterias,
- Restricted food service facilities,
- Retail stores where a majority of sales are from a pharmacy,
- Venues with snack bar services in which the majority of sales are from admission tickets,
- Certain food facilities with approved in-house food safety training,
- Food facilities subject to a collective bargaining agreement,
- 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,
- An elderly nutrition program, administered by the California Department of Aging, and
- Food handlers working in the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego and food handlers holding a valid Manager’s Food Safety Certificate.
I work as a volunteer at a soup kitchen, food bank or a volunteer run restaurant. Do I require a Food Handlers Card?
No, volunteers are exempt. The law only applies to employees who have been hired by food service establishments.
Are grocery store employees required to get a Food Handlers Card?
No, grocery stores are exempt from the California Food Handlers Card law.
I work at a demonstration booth serving food samples at a grocery store. Am I required to get a California Food Handlers Card?
No. Grocery store employees are exempt and demonstration companies are not permitted as food facilities.
I currently hold a valid Manager’s Food Safety Certification. Do I need a California Food Handlers Card?
No. The Food Manager Certification is a higher, more comprehensive certificate training that meets and exceeds the Food Handlers Card law requirements; therefore you are not required to obtain the Food Handlers Card.
I am a part-time or temporary employee. Am I required to get a Food Handlers Card?
Yes, all food handlers, regardless of how many hours they work, are required to obtain a Food Handlers Card, unless exempt.
When will I get my Food Handlers Card?
You will be able to download and print your Food Handlers Card as soon as you finish the online training and pass the final test.
Do I have to complete the training all at once?
No, you may complete the training in multiple sessions. Every time you log out of your account, your progress is saved, allowing you to resume the training later from the same section where you left off.
What if I don’t have a printer at home to print my Food Handlers Card?
If you don’t have access to a computer with a printer, you can still take the training online and, once you have passed the test, we can mail a printed copy of your California Food Handlers Card for an additional fee of $10.
Is my employer responsible for paying for my training and Food Handlers Card?
No. The law does not require employers to pay for their employees training.
When will my food handlers card expire?
The food handler card is valid for 3 years before you need to renew.
Is my card valid anywhere in California?
Your California Food Handlers Card is valid to work in any food service establishment in California, with the exception of those located in San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties. These counties issue their own Food Handlers Cards.
I need to get my Food Handlers Card but I do not have a computer, tablet or smartphone, what can I do?
If you don’t have access to a computer or mobile device, here are a few suggestions:
- Go to your local library – computers are available for use to the public
- Ask a friend if you could borrow their computer for a few hours
- Talk to your supervisor about using a computer at work
I work for multiple establishments. Do I need a Food Handlers Card for every single one of them?
Generally, no. Your food handler card will be issued under your name and valid for 3 years, even if you start working for a different employer or work for two or more restaurants. However, if any of the establishments you work for is located in San Bernardino, San Diego or Riverside County, you will need to obtain a Food Handlers Card to work there. These counties issue their own food handler card.
I currently work at a restaurant located in San Diego and hold a specific San Diego Food Handlers Card. Am I required by law to get a California Food Handlers Card also?
Yes, if you work for a restaurant outside San Diego County, such as Orange County, you need to get a California Food Handlers Card. This same rule applies if you are currently working for a restaurant in San Bernardino or Riverside County.
What documentation are employers required to keep?
Employers are responsible for maintaining accurate records that all food handlers employed by the establishment hold a valid California Food Handlers Card. An example of proper documentation would be to keep a copy of each food handler’s card on file, so it is available upon request to the next health inspector.