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Environmental Health

Food Safety Training Requirements

To comply with California Law, every retail food facility must ensure that:

  1. At least one employee be a Certified Food Safety Manager and
  2. All other employees involved in the preparation, storage or service of food in a food facility must obtain a Food Handler Card.


Food Safety Manager Certificate

Who should be certified as a Food Safety Manager?

The certified person (Certification Candidate) can be the owner, manager, chef, cook or any employee responsible for safe food handling and who may insure that other employees use proper food handling techniques.

What is involved in becoming certified as a Food Safety Manager?

To become a Food Safety Manager, the Certification Candidate must complete an approved 85-question certification exam with a score of 75% or higher.

The certificate must be renewed every five years.

A training class is not required to participate in the certification examination.


San Francisco Department of Public Health Certification Services

We provide a 5-hour training to prepare Food Safety Managers to take the certification exam. The intensive all-day training covers: the causes of food poisoning and ways to prevent it, time and temperature controls, cross contamination, cleaning and sanitizing, and pest control.

At the conclusion of the class, a certification exam is given.

Certification Candidates may also choose to take the certification exam without the class.

To find out more about these services, please see the Food Safety Certification Class Schedule and Registration.


Food Handler Cards

California law requires all individuals involved in the preparation, storage or service of food in a food facility to obtain a food handler card after taking a food safety training course and passing an exam. ANSI Accrediation maintains a list of certified organizations that can provide the food handler training program.

Letter to operators about food handler cards - English | Spanish | Chinese (pdf)