State Requirements

California Food Handlers Card – State Requirements

Under California state law, any business that serves food is required to have an owner or employee(s) that have successfully passed a state-approved and accredited food safety course and California food safety exam. It is now required that not only the owner become certified, but that the owner, management as well as employees have this food safety certification card.

You will need to successfully, within 30 days of hire, obtain your California food safety certification. The law states that food handlers hired prior to June 1, 2011 must obtain a food handler card on or before July 1, 2011. If you were hired on or after June 1, 2011 you will need to get your food handler card within 30 days of the date of hire.

California enacted the bill in 2010 (SB 602): “California Food Handler Card Law,” which mandates safe food handling standards thoughout the entire state of California’s restaurant industry. This law was put in place as a requirement that general food safety education is obtained by taking the California Food Handler Card Training and pass an exam.

The California Food Handler Card has a 3 year validation and it is required by the restaurant to keep proof of certification on record for all employees in the establishment. These requirements are enforced by the local health departments of California at time of inspection.

Once you take the California Food Handler Training Course, you will be prepared to take the exam and get your certification, which is valid throughout the entire state of California with the exception of Riverside, San Diego and San Bernardino counties, which have their own food handler card requirements already in place.

County regulations may be subject to different regulations. Please contact your county for more information.

Certification Renewal

You will be required to get your certification renewed every 3 years