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. The definition includes most restaurant employees, such as those holding the positions of, but not limited to: wait staff, chefs, head cooks, cooks, bussers, bartenders, hosts/hostesses who handle food and supervisory personnel, such as the general manager or managers. Employees with a valid manager’s food safety certification are compliant with the California Food Handler Card law.
How much will it cost?
The law stipulates that one training course must be available at no more than $15 to ensure affordability and prevent hardship on the food handler.
Employers are not responsible by this law to pay for an employee’s time and expense to take the training and test unless a food facility provides in-house food safety training during normal working hours, and the training course must be approved for use in another state that has adopted requirements described in Subpart 2-103.11 of the 2001 edition of the model Food Code to comply with the California Food Handler Card law.
How will it be enforced?
Local health department enforcement officials are responsible for ensuring food facilities meet their obligations under the law, including ensuring food handlers 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 must obtain a food handler card on or before July 1. Food handlers hired on or after June 1 must obtain a food handler card within 30 days of the date of hire.
- Food handler hired Feb. 1, 1987 must obtain a card on or before July 1, 2011
- Food handler hired May 31, 2011 must obtain a card by July 1, 2011
- Food handler hired June 1, 2011 must obtain a card within 30 days of hire
- Food handler hired Jan. 15, 2015 must obtain a card within 30 days of hire
Read the Bill