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California Food Handler Certification

We asked 1,538 job seekers about their California Food Handler Certification. This is what they told us:

  • 59% of job seekers said "required for my current job" was the biggest reason for earning their California Food Handler Certification
  • 51% said earning their California Food Handler Certification helped them make more money
  • 77% said earning their California Food Handler Certification helped them get a job
  • 95% said they would recommend a family member or friend earn their California Food Handler Certification

California Food Handler Requirements

California requires that every facility that prepares or serves food must have at least one Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) on staff, and everyone who handles food must have a Food Handler Card. Certifications and Food Handler Cards must be obtained through an organization with an ANSI-approved training program.1

Earning the CFPM involves at least 8 hours of training and the passing of an 80-question exam. Certificates are valid for 5 years and can only be applied to 1 facility. A representative of each food-serving facility must obtain a CFPM within 60 days of operation.

Food Handler Cards require at least 3 hours of training and the passing of a 40-question exam. Certificates are valid for 3 years and apply to any food-service facility the food handler works in. Food Handler Cards must be obtained within 30 days of hiring.


References

1. “California Food Handler Card”. California Restaurant Association. Retrieved on January 10, 2020.
2. “Frequently Asked Questions”. County of Los Angeles Public Health. Retrieved on January 10, 2020.


Editorial content last updated: April 2020

What are people saying about getting a California Food Handler Certification?

Did this certification help you make more money?

Based on 1,538 responses

51% said earning their California Food Handler Certification helped them make more money

Did this certification help you get a job?

Based on 1,538 responses

77% said earning their California Food Handler Certification helped them get a job

Would you recommend this certification?

Based on 1,538 responses

95% said they would recommend a family member or friend earn their California Food Handler Certification

Why did you decide to earn your California Food Handler Certification?

Based on 1,538 responses

Required for my current job

59%

Make more money

15%

Changing careers

7%

Get an edge over other candidates

17%

Help my career progression

33%

Other

17%

What was your job title after earning this certification?

Based on 1,141 responses

Server View jobs

9%

Food Service Worker View jobs

5%

Cook View jobs

5%

Bartender View jobs

5%

Crew Member View jobs

4%

What do people wish they knew before earning their California Food Handler Certification?

1,080 people answered

“How simple it was to earn and that you have to complete the one for your county not state .”

April 22, 2021

“How simple it was to earn and that you have to complete the one for your county not state .”

April 22, 2021

“How simple it was to earn and that you have to complete the one for your county not state .”

April 22, 2021

“I knew that you needed the certification to work at any restaurant where you are dealing with food.”

April 21, 2021

“If you think you will find a job at a restaurant in the future, it’ll come in handy having this certificate already done.”

April 15, 2021

What advice would you give to someone interested in earning their California Food Handler Certification?

1,177 people answered

“It may provide additional opportunities.”

April 24, 2021

“Make sure you take notes and review before the test !”

April 22, 2021

“Make sure you take notes and review before the test !”

April 22, 2021

“Make sure you take notes and review before the test !”

April 22, 2021

“If you know you are going to work with food regardless of having a current job, get it before applying so they see you already have it which makes it easier for them to hire you.”

April 21, 2021