The majority of the service industry throughout the United States uses the ServSafe food safety test. The National Restaurant Association accredits ServSafe's food safety certification.
Material on the ServSafe food safety test coincides with general food safety knowledge that food workers must know, regardless of what state they work in. General food safety concepts include the prevention of cross-contamination, personal hygiene, sanitation and times and temperatures for holding and serving food to limit the spread of foodborne illnesses.
There is a short prerequisite course that takes about 60 to 90 minutes to complete and then an assessment. ServSafe awards a certificate upon successful completion of the assessment. ServSafe offers assessments that are tailored to food safety regulations for specific states. Prospective students only need to select the corresponding state when registering for the online assessment at ServSafe.com.
The assessment is 40 questions and non-proctored. Students need a score of at least 75 percent to pass and can take the assessment as many times as necessary. The course remains open and the student has continual access until he passes the assessment.
Some employers offer the ServSafe coursework and assessments through their companies, but employees or food service workers may take the course and assessment privately at ServSafe.com. There is also a national network of instructors who offer the ServSafe food handler exam for those who prefer to take the exam in person.