Q: Who is considered a Food Handler?
A Food Handler is a Food Employee as defined in Section 750.110 of the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code, “means individual working with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces.”
Q: Who is required to have a Food Handler Training Card?
Any food handler working in the state of Illinois, unless that person has a valid Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC). If someone working in a facility that is not a food handler on a regular basis, but fills in as a food handler when needed, they too must have a food handler training card.
Q: Who is NOT required to have a Food Handler Training card?
Anyone working in a facility that is not a food handler by definition or any food handler that has a valid Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC).
Q: What type of training is offered for Restaurants?
This food handler course from National Registry is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The course and assessment can be completed online, 24 hours/day and does not need to be monitored by an instructor. A local health department that has a Department approved training program may provide training for restaurants. For a list of all local health departments, click here. Any business with an internal training program approved in another state prior to August 27, 2013.
Q: How is the training administered?
Training can be online, computer, classroom, live trainers, remote trainers, and by certified food service sanitation managers. For those food handlers working in restaurants, the training must be ANSI approved, unless their local health department has been approved by the Department to provide food handler training to restaurants or they work for a business with a Department approved internal training program. Regardless of your preferred training method, all candidates who pass the program will receive the same food handler training card.
Q: How long is the certificate (food handler card) valid?
The ANSI food handler training certificates are good for 3 years and those taking other types of training that work in restaurants and other facilities such as: nursing homes, licensed day care homes and facilities, hospitals, schools, and long-term care facilities are good for 3 years.
Those working in non-restaurants are not required to take another food handler training program unless they go to work for another employer. Food handler cards for those working in non-restaurants is not transferable between employers.