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Food Handler FAQs

Who needs to complete food handler training?

As of September 1st, 2016 anyone who works with food (packaged or unpackaged), food equipment or utensils, or food contact surfaces is considered a food handler and must complete a course on proper food safety technique. This requirement includes hostesses, servers, bussers, and kitchen staff.

Does the employer need to pay for training?

Unless the employee is paid under the minimum wage, an employer is not responsible for providing training.

When do new employees need to be certified by?

From the day he or she is hired, a new employ has 60 days to get certified as a Texas Food Handler.

Is this course approved in the state of Texas?

Yes. Our Texas Online Food Handler Program is approved by TX DSHS. The certificate and care you receive at the end of the course will allow you to start work immediately.

Why is food handler training required?

The course teaches techniques for food preparation and handling, which if not followed can lead to foodborne illness outbreaks. The education in this course provides the food industry with more qualified employees, which can reduce the risk of sickness.

How long is the course?

TX DSHS requires the food handler program cover 2 hours of material. However, that is the minimum; you can take longer than that if you wish. We will give you plenty of time to cover all of the material.

Can I do everything online with this course?

Yes, every part of our program is completely online. You do not need any other materials, though you may choose to take notes. At the end, you will even be given your certificate and card electronically to download immediately, at no extra charge!

Is there a final exam?

No, there is no final exam or tests of any kind during the training. Once you have covered all of the material in the 2-hour course, you will be able to immediately receive your certificate of completion and food handler card.

What kind of card does this course provide?

As a program accredited by TX DSHS, the American Safety Council Texas Online Food Handler completion card is recognized statewide by regulatory authorities as proof of completion of a food handler training program. The card simply needs to be downloaded at the end of the course and printed out, and it will satisfy state regulatory bodies as proof of completion of the needed education.

How long is the card valid?

The Food Handler card is valid for two years, starting the date you complete the training program. You will need to renew the card every two years by retaking the course to remain certified.

What if I lose my card?

You can log in to the course to reprint your certificate and card any time after you complete the course to print a new one. If you do not remember your login information, you can use the "Forgot Your Password?" option on the login screen or contact customer service, available 24/7.

Is this course approved by the city of Austin?

Our course is approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services as an accredited food handler training program. As of July 2015, the City of Austin no longer requires additional city registration after your course completion, but they do require that all food handlers be trained by programs approved by the state or ANSI. Our state-approved course fits this requirement. If you have any further questions about the requirements of your local municipalities, please contact your nearest Department of Health and Human Services.