How Can You Get a Food Handler's Permit in Washington State?


Quick Answer

Obtain a food worker card, also known as a food handler permit, in Washington state by attending a food preparation safety course at one of the county Health Department locations and paying the $10 licensing fee, as of 2015. Alternately, take an online certification course through FoodWorkerCard.WA.Gov, which allows you to print the card at home.

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Full Answer

Washington state requires anyone who works with raw or unpackaged food meant for public human consumption to pass a food safety course and obtain a food worker card, which serves as proof of taking the course. Possession of the card is not a requirement to begin working within a food service position, though employees must obtain it within 14 days of starting the job. The process involves visiting a country Health Department location during normal operating hours and speaking to a clerk about the certification test and attending the appropriate courses. Applicants must provide a valid form of identification and fill out a registration form before beginning the test.

To take the course online, applicants must create an account with the site, which allows the state the track the progress and completion of all applicants. The training includes following a series of online instructions that cover various aspects of food safety, including how to properly wash hands, what to do when food comes into contact with contaminants and how to handle specific types of food. The course culminates in a test that the applicant must take in a single session.

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