Food Handler Course and Training Programs

Food handler positions tend to offer flexible hours so they fit many schedules. Training for this job focuses on safety and sanitation when touching food. Read on to find out more about food handler courses and training programs. Schools offering Art of Cooking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Food handlers gain their training through programs that teach them about safety practices in the food service industry. Courses are available on-site, or they can be completed online.

Training On-the-job training is common; formal programs are provided by health departments, vocational colleges and private organizations
Courses Food safety, temperature controls, contamination prevention, sanitation, and personal hygiene
Online Programs are available; must be properly accredited

Where Can I Find a Food Handler Training Course?

Although many food handlers receive on-the-job training, food handling courses are available at community colleges and vocational training schools. Some states have requirements that include certification for a food handler. Some restaurants and casual-dining establishments provide classroom training combined with on-the-job experience.

Large chain restaurants may provide training through site-specific criteria that can teach you the mission of the restaurant and formal serving techniques. Food handler courses are typically short in length with some courses being two hours or less. State health departments often provide training manuals for aspiring food handlers. The information provided will prepare you to sit for a food handler's certification exam, if required.

What Training Programs Can I Find?

Training programs are provided by local health departments, vocational colleges, workplace training programs and private organizations. The programs must be authorized by local health departments. Often these training programs offer additional training above the typical food handler course. Some of this training may include coursework designed to protect communities from illness caused by improperly managed food carts, barbecues or even potluck dinners.

What Will I Learn?

Food handler training programs and courses focus on the food safety skills used to prevent foodborne illnesses. You'll learn how to properly handle food, and how specific foods, like shellfish or seafood must be handled to ensure safety. You'll be instructed on issues such as personal hygiene, personal illnesses, hand washing techniques and when you shouldn't work. Courses will teach you about appropriate temperature control of both hot and cold food.

You can learn about what organisms contaminate food and the ways to prevent contamination. Programs teach you the proper ways to sanitize the food handling environment. You'll learn about the proper cleaning chemicals and how to safely handle them. You'll also learn about time and temperature controls and how to know when food has been in a danger zone and must be disposed of.

Can I Take Courses Online?

Some states provide online training programs. Online courses vary in content and you should find a course that you are interested in. Be careful when selecting an online course to ensure that they are properly accredited. Often, accreditation is provided by state health departments. You may be able download a training manual, study the coursework and then take a certification exam.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Virginia College

    Virginia College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Virginia College:

    • Certificates

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    • Alabama: Birmingham, Mobile
    • Florida: Birmingham, Mobile, Fort Pierce, Jacksonville
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    • Virginia: Birmingham, Mobile, Fort Pierce, Jacksonville, Baton Rouge, Richmond
  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster Career School

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  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Valdosta
  • Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Fishersville
  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Mississauga, North York, Scarborough, Toronto