If you’re working in the food industry, you must have a California Food Handler Card.
According to the California Restaurant Association (CRA), the California Food Handler Card law is designed to ensure restaurant employees receive training in food safety practices in order to reduce the potential for foodborne illness.
You must have a California Food Handler Card 30 days from the date you’re hired. The cards are valid throughout most of California and are valid for three years. Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties have pre-existing food handler card programs and are exempted from the state mandate.
To get a card, you need a minimum score of 70 percent on the food handler test. You can take the course and the test online or in a classroom. You have to maintain a valid food handler card for the duration of your employment.
The CRA recommends using the ServSafe® California Food Handler program to get your card. The CRA also provides general information in Spanish and the National Restaurant Association hosts a bilingual call center; they can answer questions in English and in Spanish at 866-901-7778.