How Do You Get a Food Handler's Card?

How Do You Get a Food Handler's Card?

Passing a food handler's examination and paying the appropriate fee is one of several ways to obtain a food handlers card. Depending on the state you live in, you can take the examination through your local health department, or

Washington is one such state that allows a food handler to obtain his food handlers card through its local health departments. The length and difficulty of the course differs from county to county, but the test typically covers basic food safety, hygiene, cross-contamination and allergens, time and temperatures for holding and cooking food, and sanitation. Detailed info is located at, under Licenses, Permits and Certificates.

Effective July, 2014, Illinois requires food service workers to take a simple food handlers training course and exam at At the website, click Food Handler Card, and then the corresponding state. Click Get Started Now to commence the course and exam.

ServSafe is a nationally-recognized authority in the food service business, and the food handlers card it issues is good throughout the 50 states. Go to, click ServSafe Food Handler, and then click Take the Online Course. You also can check your score and print your certificate online when you are done with the assessment.

You may not even need a food handlers card. Food handlers in Arkansas are only expected to possess basic food safety knowledge and are not required to have a food handlers card. Again, check your local health department's guidelines to confirm.