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.
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
Required for my current job
Make more money
Get an edge over other candidates
Help my career progression
“I knew that you needed the certification to work at any restaurant where you are dealing with food.”
“If you think you will find a job at a restaurant in the future, it’ll come in handy having this certificate already done.”
“It may provide additional opportunities.”
“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.”