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.

What Other Options Do I Have?

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 to ensure safety. Additionally, you can learn about what organisms contaminate food and the ways to prevent contamination. Some areas of interest you might be covering in your program are listed as follows:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Personal illnesses
  • Hand washing techniques
  • Temperature control of hot and cold food
  • Shellfish and seafood
  • Proper use of cleaning chemicals
  • Time controls
  • Food sanitization

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 to 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

  • Penn Foster High School

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

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Valdosta
  • West Virginia Northern Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Wheeling
  • West Georgia Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Waco
  • Waukesha County Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Pewaukee
  • Washburn Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • Kansas: Topeka
  • Vincennes University

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Vincennes
  • Spartanburg Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • South Carolina: Spartanburg
  • Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Fishersville
  • Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

    Campus Locations:

    • New Mexico: Albuquerque