Should I get certified before applying for a job in the food and beverage industry?
Technically, you do not need to be certified before applying for your first job in the food and beverage industry (in Texas). Legally, you need to get your certification within 60 days of employment. Practically, though, it may be smart to get certified before you start applying for jobs. Because you are required to have a food handler card, some employers won’t even consider a candidate who isn’t already certified. By walking into your interview with your food handler card in hand, you are saying to your potential employer:
- I understand the Texas legal requirements in this industry.
- I am committed to my career and I am already taking steps to advance it.
- I am committed to keeping my customers, my colleagues and myself safe.
What if I can’t afford to pay for this course?
Our course is extremely affordable, which means that if you are working for the minimum wage in Texas ($7.25 per hour), you should be able to afford to take this class within your first two hours of employment. Also, remember that you may not necessarily need to pay for your own course.
If you are working below minimum wage (servers, bartenders and other employees whose wage consists mostly of tips), your employer is required to pay for your course. While it is in your best interest to get certified before you apply for a food service job in Texas, if you cannot currently afford to take the course, you are still allowed to work for 60 days without certification. Within those 60 days, make sure you save the minimal funds required to take the course or speak with your employer about getting your course covered.
If I don’t have to pass a final exam, how will I know when I’m certified?
Because the state of Texas does not require that you pass a final exam, we don’t either. Our primary goal is to fully prepare you to enter the food and beverage industry. We place our emphasis on engaging with and understanding the material, not simply memorizing the answers to questions.
You will know when you’ve completed your training when you reach the end of our two-hour course. We will, for no additional charge, give you a printable certification and a food handler card. You’ll need to bring at least one of these with you to work—if your employer does not keep certifications on file, bring your food handler card with you every day. The food handler card that we offer is 100% approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
My two-year food handler card is expired. Do you offer a recertification class?
No, not technically. In the state of Texas, there is no such thing as “recertification.” After your two-year food handler card has expired, you simply need to take the course again. It is the exact same price as your original certification, and the course will cover the exact same topics. There is no alternate process at this time.
I keep hearing that I need to be certified for bare-hand contact of ready-to-eat foods. Does this course meet that requirement?
Yes. This course is accredited by the Texas Department of State Health Services and is 100% approved by the American National Standards Institute. It meets all the requirements to certify you for bare-hand contact of ready-to-eat foods.
Help! I lost my card. What should I do?
If you’ve misplaced your food handler card, you can use your username and password to log back into our course (your username and password will allow you access even after you’ve completed the course). You can print both your certificate and your food handler card as many times as you need to. Also, some employers want to see proof of your certification before they are willing to hire you. If you find yourself at an interview without your card, you can log into our course from a tablet, smartphone or your work computer and show your potential employer your certification that way.
Texas Department of State Health Services: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/food-handlers/default.aspx
Texas Department of State Health Services: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8590002119
Texas Department of State Health Services: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/food-managers/certification.aspx
Texas Administrative Code: http://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&ti=25&ch=229&rl=178
Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/18/a-chipotle-restaurant-is-closed-after-yet-another-foodborne-illness-outbreak/?utm_term=.af8d94d5341d
Texas Department of State Health Services: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/regions/lhds.shtm
Texas Department of State Health Services: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/food-handlers/faq.aspx