FAQs

FOOD MANAGER TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION

Q: How long does the Food Safety Managers course take?

The one day class is about 8 hours in length. The class includes extensive training, in depth review and the administration of the certification exam.

Q: What should I bring to the training?

You must bring a valid photo I.D.

Q: What will I learn in the Manager Training?

You will learn the critical importance of food safety and how to share this knowledge with all your employees.

Some of the concepts that you will understand with the Manager Training include:

  • The dangers of foodborne illnesses will covered and how to prevent them.
  • You will see where food contamination starts.
  • You will understand the elements of good personal hygiene, and how every employee can be a safe food handler.
  • Managers will discover how to prevent cross contamination.
  • You will understand the importance of time and temperature control.
  • Managers will get the inside scoop on proper cooling and reheating, safe receiving, food storage.
  • The importance of active managerial control of critical foodborne illness risk factors will be made clear.
  • The training will cover all aspects of cleaning and sanitation.
  • You will learn about integrated pest management, and how to keep pests out of the establishment.
  • We will cover the way to keep employee training ongoing to keep food safety a top priority.

Q: How long is the Food Manager Certification good for?

Five years from the date the card is issued.

Q: What if I don’t pass the test the first time?

You may retake the test and/or class, and only pay for the cost of the test.

Q: Can I bring a translator to assist in taking the exam?

No, testing agencies do not allow the use of translators during the exam. All About Safe  Food does offer the exam in Spanish and other languages. Please contact us at 707.480.7061 or info@allaboutsafefood.com 10 days before the exam so the proper language exam can be ordered.

Q: I will be opening a restaurant very soon, do I need to have the Food Safety Managers Certificate before I open?

The Health Department will give you 30 days from opening to get certified. At All About Safe Food we will take every measure to have your exam processed and certificate sent to you in a timely manner.


CA FOOD HANDLER CARD

Q: How long does the Food Handler training (CA Food Handler Card) take?

The training takes about 2 ½ hours including time to take the test.

Q: What should I bring to the training?

You must bring a valid photo I.D.

Q: How long is the Food Handler Card good for?

Three years from the date of the exam.

Q: What is covered by the Food Handler Card course?

The law requires that the course provides basic, introductory instruction on the below listed six elements:

  1. Food‐borne illness, including terms associated with food‐borne illness, micro‐organisms, hepatitis A, and toxins that can contaminate food and the illness that can be associated with contamination, definition and recognition of potentially hazardous foods, chemical, biological, and physical contamination of food, and the illnesses that can be associated with food contamination, and major contributing factors for food-borne illness.
  2. The relationship between time and temperature with respect to food-borne illness, including the relationship between time and temperature and micro-organisms during the various food handling, preparation, and serving states, and the type, calibration, and use of thermometers in monitoring food temperatures.
  3. The relationship between personal hygiene and food safety, including the association of hand contact, personal habits and behaviors, and food employee health to food‐borne illness, and the recognition of how policies, procedures, and management contribute to improved food safety practices.
  4. Methods of preventing food contamination in all stages of food handling, including terms associated with contamination and potential hazards prior to, during, and after delivery.
  5. Procedures for cleaning and sanitizing equipment and utensils.
  6. Problems and potential solutions associated with temperature control, preventing cross-contamination, housekeeping and maintenance.

Q: What if I don’t pass the test the first time?

You may retake the test and/or class, and only pay for the cost of the test.

Q: How do I pay for the training/certificate?

You can pay on-line using a credit card, Visa, MasterCard, Discover or PayPal. You may pay at the door if you have a reservation.

Q: Can I bring a translator to assist in taking the exam?

No, testing agencies do not allow the use of translators during the exam. All About Safe Food does offer the exam in Spanish and other languages. Please contact us a707.480.7061 or info@AllaboutSafeFood.com 10 days before the exam so the proper language exam can be ordered.

Q: Is my California food handler card valid anywhere in the California?

A California food handler card is valid everywhere in California except in Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties which have pre‐existing local food handler card programs. Consult with the local enforcement agencies in each of these counties to obtain information on their local food handler programs and requirements.

Q: What type of positions fall under the CA Food Handler Card Law?

Most restaurant positions are subject to the California Food Handler Card Law. Food handlers are defined as individuals involved in the preparation, storage or service of  food in a food facility. However, certain statutory exemptions exist including food handlers in:

  • 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,
  • certain food facilities with approved in‐house food safety training,
  • food facilities subject to a collective bargaining agreement,
  • food handlers subject to the local food handler programs in the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego
  • food handlers holding a valid Manager’s Food Safety Certificate pursuant to current food safety law.

The definition therefore effectively includes most restaurant employees such as those holding the positions of, but not limited to: wait staff, chefs, head cooks, cooks, bussers, bartenders, host/hostesses that handle food, beverage pourers (including alcoholic beverage pourers), and supervisory personnel, such as the general manager or managers (unless they are certified under the existing food managers certification program). The law applies to both salaried and hourly food handlers.

Q: I have a food handler card issued from another state. Are food handler cards from other states compliant with the California Food Handler Card Law?

No. Other state’s food handler cards are not valid in California.

Q: I’m a high school student and work in a restaurant part-time and only during the summer. Do I still need a card?

Yes. Regardless of age or the amount of time working in a restaurant, food handlers must have a valid California food handler card for the duration of employment as a food handler.

Q: I currently work in a restaurant, or I am about to start working in a restaurant. Am I responsible for taking the food handler course and test, or is my employer responsible for offering me the food handler course and test?

As a food handler, you are responsible for taking the food handler course and test. This is required by the California Food Handler Card Law for food handlers. The food handler card is issued to the individual food handler taking and passing the test, and is valid for three years from the date of issuance, regardless of whether the food handler changes employers during that period.

Q: Is my employer responsible for paying for my food handler card course and test under the new law?

No. The CA Food Handler Card Law does not require employers to pay for the food handler’s training and test. The food handler card is the property of the restaurant  employee, which allows the employee to change jobs without having to obtain a new food handler card.

Q: Are there any qualifications to take the course and test?

The course/test have not prerequisites, and may be taken by any individual who seeks knowledge of basic food safety.


GENERAL

Q: What are the major reasons for food safety violations?

The majority of food safety violations have to do with time and temperature abuse and improper handwashing. All About Safe Food offers training that exceeds food safety guidelines.

Q: How long are the Food Safety Manager and CA Food Handler Certificates good for?

The Food Safety Managers certificate is good for 5 years and the CA Food Handler Card is good for three years.

Q: How do I contact you?

Call Bob Herr at (707) 480-7061 or email Bob@AllAboutSafeFood.com


OWNER/MANAGER

Q: What if I am a manager or owner and want to set up a food manager or CA food handler class for my staff?

Contact Bob Herr at 707.480.7061 or e-mail Bob@AllAboutSafeFood.com to set up the class.

Q: I will be opening a restaurant very soon, do I need to have a Food Safety Managers Certificate before I open?

The Health Department will give you 30 days from opening to get certified. At All About Safe Food we will take every measure to have your exam processed and certificate sent to you in a timely manner.

Q: What are my responsibilities for tracking my employees’ food handler card?

The law requires employers to maintain records documenting that each food handler employed by the establishment has a valid CA food handler card and can provide those records to the local environmental health specialist upon request. An example of acceptable records would be to maintain copies of the employees food handler cards in the establishment.

Q: How do I know which employees need the CA food handler card?

A food handler is defined as an individual who is involved in the preparation, storage or service of food in a food facility. The law was intended to have all employees who are at all involved in food service undergo basic food safety training. Similar laws in other states have been interpreted to include all employees except those who have strictly administrative duties such as a bookkeeper.

Food handlers employed by any of the following are exempt from the law:

  • certified farmers markets
  • commissaries
  • grocery stores, except for separately owned food facilities located within a grocery store
  • licensed health care facilities
  • mobile support units
  • public and private school cafeterias
  • restricted foodservice facilities (bed and breakfasts)
  • retail stores where a majority of sales are from a pharmacy
  • temporary food facilities

Q: What documentation is the employer required to keep?

Under this law, employers are responsible for maintaining records documenting that each food handler employed by them possesses a valid food handler card. These records must be provided to the local enforcement officer upon request. An example of proper documentation would be for the employer to maintain copies of the food handlers’ cards on file and have them available upon request by the health inspector. An example of acceptable records would be to maintain copies of employees’ CA food handler cards at the food facility.

Q: Is a food handler that is required to have a food handler card also required to have the card in his/her possession while working?

No. The employer is required to maintain records verifying that the employee(s) has a valid food handler card.

Q: My company offers in-house food safety training – are we in compliance?

An in-house food safety training offered to employees is only compliant to California law  if certain criteria are met. California will use Florida’s approved vendor list as one way to determine which companies have an approved food handler program.

Here is the link to that list :

http://www.myfloridaliacense.com/dbrpr/hr/food-lodging/documents/fs_trining_list.pdf

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