Bill passed last September requires training for all “food handlers” by this July.
Last September, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the California Food Handler Card bill into law, which is designed to ensure that all restaurant employees receive minimum training on food safety practices.
Food handlers must have a California Food Handler Card on or before July 1, 2011. Employees hired after June 1, 2011 will have 30 days from the date of hire to acquire a food handler card.
To obtain a California Food Handler Card, food handlers will need to successfully pass a food handler test with a minimum score of 70 percent. The course and test may be online or through a trainer-led program. Food handlers must maintain a valid food handler card for the duration of his or her employment.
Who is a food handler?
A food handler is defined by the law as a person who is involved in the preparation, storage or service of food in a food facility.
How will it be enforced?
Local health department enforcement officials are responsible for ensuring food facilities meet their obligations under the law, including ensuring employees possess a valid food handler card, and keeping records that can be provided to local enforcement officers upon request.
Food handlers hired before June 1, 2011 must obtain a food handler card from an accredited source on or before July 1, 2011. Food handlers hired on or after June 1, 2011 must obtain a food handler card within 30 days of the date of hire. The cards are valid for three years from issuance.
Some foodservice employees are exempt from the new law, such as:
- certified farmers market
- grocery stores, except for separately owned food facilities
- licensed health care facilities
- mobile support units
- public and private school cafeterias
- restricted food service facilities
- retail stores where a majority of sales are from a pharmacy.
Comply with the law by creating your own course
For smaller businesses, it’s probably easiest to purchase an online training course. Please note that emTRAiN will be partnering with the California Restaurant Association so that our customers can take the appropriate course from our Learning Management System – consolidating all the employee compliance training records onto one web based system. However, for larger businesses – we recommend creating your own safety & personal hygiene course and running your own course from emTRAiN’s learning management system. emTRAiN will have its new web based course authoring tool available in February. This tool will allow an HR or Training team to create an eLearning course – even if the team is geographically dispersed. While it may take 3-4 days to create a course – larger businesses can save a significant amount of money by conducting their own training.