Food handlers perform any job where food is prepared and served such as at a restaurant, fast food establishment or a concessions stand, according to the Bureau and Putnam County Health Department. Food handlers may also work in nonrestaurant establishments, including hospitals, nursing homes, grocery stores and schools.
Food handlers work with unpackaged foods, serving utensils, cooking equipment and surfaces where unpackaged foods are placed, says the Washington State Department of Health. Before a person can be employed as a food worker, the person must attend and pass a state- or county-approved food handler's course. The course may be taken in a classroom or online to receive a food handler's certificate, explains the Bureau and Putnam County Health Department.
Depending on the state or county laws, once the required food handler's training is successfully completed, a person is eligible to work in any food preparation job within the state or county where the certificate was awarded. Some states, such as Washington state, allow persons to work in food service for up to two weeks prior to getting a food handler's card, as long as the employee receives food safety training from his employer, explains the Washington State Department of Health.