California Online Food Handler Program Course Details

To earn your California food handler card, you must complete the 2.5-hour ANSI-accredited training program and pass a 40-question final exam. You have up to two attempts to pass the exam with a score of at least 70%.

When you successfully complete your exam, you can instantly download and print your food handler card. Your certificate remains valid for three years after the date it was issued, and you can access your account at any time to view or print your card.

What You Will Learn

The goal of the California Online Food Handler Program is to educate food service employees about the key principles of food safety. Upon completion of the course, you will understand how safe behaviors, personal hygiene and proper sanitization can prevent food contamination and the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Module 1: Foodborne Illness

The course's first module covers the basics of preventing foodborne illness, from common food safety hazards to causes and symptoms of illness.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Identify contributing factors and behaviors associated with foodborne illnesses
  • Recall major biological, chemical, and physical food hazards
  • Describe the associated food sources, symptoms, and control measures of the most common types of foodborne illness and food allergies

Module 2: Personal Hygiene and Food Safety

Learn about the crucial role of personal hygiene in maintaining high standards of food safety. This module covers the do's and don'ts of handwashing and the proper use of gloves and hair nets.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Identify the types of ready-to-eat foods and the proper procedures for bare hand contact with them
  • Describe personal hygiene and safety precautions that food handlers must use in their workplace
  • List control measures to ensure food safety

Module 3: Preventing Food Contamination

Cross contamination is a leading cause of foodborne illness. In this module, you'll learn how to prevent cross-contamination with proper safety protocols for transporting, storing and preparing food.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Describe proper safe food handling procedures for transporting, displaying, serving, and storing food
  • Recall methods for preventing food contamination

Module 4: Cleaning and Sanitization

Practicing effective cleaning and sanitization techniques is vitally important for all food handlers. Learn how to properly clean, sanitize and dry food equipment and utensils.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Explain how to properly use, launder, store, and sanitize linens, food preparation utensils, cleaning supplies, and equipment
  • Identify the proper methods and frequency for cleaning, sanitizing, and drying food-contact surfaces and equipment in a food establishment

Module 5: Time and Temperature

Time and temperature controls prevent the spread of pathogens that cause foodborne illness. Learn about dangerous temperature zones and how long cooked and uncooked foods remain safe when they aren't kept at the right temperature.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Identify the different types of "time and temperature control for safety" (TCS) food and "potentially hazardous food" (PHF)
  • Recall the correct temperatures and time controls at which PHF/TCS food must be cooked, held, stored, and reheated
  • Describe the importance of using food thermometers, and outline the steps required for each food thermometer calibration technique

For additional information about the California Online Food Handler Program, visit our FAQ page.