Meet San Diego Food Safety Training Requirements

San Diego County, California, is a top food destination that serves nearly 15 million overnight visitors each year. Visitors and residents alike can choose from more than 13,000 retail food businesses, including over 8,000 restaurants.

To safeguard the health of all patrons, food handlers who work in San Diego County must complete a county-authorized food safety course within 10 days of starting the job. Workers who are considered food handlers include waiters, chefs, dishwashers and any other staff members who handle food, dishes or utensils.

Note: A standard California food handler card is not valid in San Diego county. If you work in San Diego County, you need a county-authorized food handler card.

The San Diego County Online Food Handler Course is approved by the Food and Housing Division of the County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health. The 100% online course will introduce you to the basics of food safety and personal hygiene in the workplace. You will also learn about important food safety laws.

San Diego food handler card holders are qualified to:

  • Identify behaviors associated with foodborne illnesses and outbreaks
  • Explain the correct procedures for bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods
  • Describe methods that prevent foodborne contamination
  • Understand proper cleaning and sanitization techniques
  • List control measures to ensure food safety

Getting Your San Diego Food Handler Card Is as Easy as 1-2-3!

Register for the Course

Sign up online using our secure payment system.

Complete Your Training

Study the course material and complete the final exam. Our program is 100% online, so you can train anytime 24/7 on your own schedule.

Print Your Certificate

After you pass the final exam, you can instantly download your San Diego food handler card. Your certificate remains valid for three years.

About the Course

The San Diego County food handler course teaches food service employees how to prevent cross-contamination and the spread of foodborne illness.

For your convenience, you can log into the online course whenever your schedule allows. Sign on or off anytime to work on your training. The course automatically saves your place, so you can take breaks as often as you like.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Causes of foodborne illness
  • Time and temperature control of potentially hazardous foods
  • Employee health and hygiene practices
  • Protection from contamination
  • Consumer advisory
  • Approved food sources
  • Washing and sanitizing utensils and equipment
  • Pest control

Course learning materials cover key sections of state and local food safety laws, including the California Retail Food Code and the San Diego County Code.

Final Exam Information

Once you've completed each module in the course, you can start the food handler exam. The final exam includes 40 questions on the food safety topics covered in your training. Students must complete the exam in one sitting.

Once you pass the final exam with a score of at least 80%, you can instantly download your San Diego-approved food handler card. The certification will remain valid for three years after the issue date. When your San Diego County food handler card expires, you must retake the course to renew your card.

» Learn more about our food handler course and San Diego County training requirements

Who Needs a San Diego Food Handler Card?

According to San Diego County, a food handler is any employee who prepares food, serves food, washes dishes or makes any contact with unwrapped food or utensils.

If you are a waiter, cook, bartender or another staff member who handles food, dishes or utensils, San Diego County requires you to complete food handler training.

Jobs that require food safety training in San Diego may include:

  • Servers
  • Cooks
  • Hosts and hostesses
  • Bartenders
  • Barbacks
  • Dishwashers
  • Caterers
  • Meat cutters
  • Deli workers
  • Salad bar workers

If you are unsure whether you need a San Diego food handler card, ask your manager or supervisor about the training requirements for your role.