In some cases, a food handling certificate can be obtained through online study. Local regulations may vary, however, and completion of an online course may not meet requirements. StateFoodSafety.com and ServSafe.com both have online courses that can lead to certification, as of 2015.
Food handling certification involves completion of a brief course covering safe food preparation, storage and handling to prevent food-borne illness. Each local health department has its own regulations and requirements regarding the certification of food handlers. Local requirements should be checked prior to enrolling in a course, as it is important to ensure that the coursework meets local health department regulations.