How Do You Get a Food Safety Certification?


Quick Answer

Food safety certification requirements differ between states, but the National Restaurant Association offers comprehensive food safety management testing that satisfies certification requirements in 26 states. Individuals from states not covered by the NRA's testing service, such as Washington, must apply for certification from their respective states' Department of Health.

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Full Answer

Individuals who choose to obtain food safety certification through the NRA must find a local instructor, proctor or class participating in the ServSafe testing program. The NRA warns that several individuals are not authorized to advertise, sell or teach their ServSafe program, and recommends new applicants find local programs through the official channels available on its website. The NRA provides a list of instructors and scheduled classes in most U.S. states on its website; both classes and testing materials are available in a variety of languages including English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Japanese.

As of 2015, some of the U.S. states that certify food safety eligibility through the NRA's ServSafe testing program include Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, California and Florida. States that allow ServSafe testing to meet their requirements for demonstration of knowledge include Wyoming, Arkansas and New Hampshire. States in which ServSafe testing only meets county requirements in certain locations include Washington and Montana, while in states such as New Mexico, which operates its own food safety program, ServSafe testing is entirely voluntary.

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