Florida Food Handler Certificates: Everything you need to know

food service expert witness

Florida Food Handler Certificates: Everything you need to know

As a Certified ServSafe instructor, one of the most important aspects of your job is helping food handlers to obtain the necessary certifications to work in the food service industry. In the state of Florida, this means getting a Food Handler Certificate. In this article, we’ll provide all the information you need about these certificates, including what they are, who needs them, and how to obtain them.

 What is a Food Handler Certificate?

Food Handler Certificate is a document that proves that an individual has completed a food safety training course and has passed an exam on food safety. Florida requires this certificate for anyone who works in a food service establishment, including restaurants, cafes, bars, and catering companies.

Our purpose with the Food Handler Certificate is to ensure that all food handlers in the state understand food safety principles, including proper food handling, storage, and preparation techniques. By requiring all food handlers to obtain this certification, the state of Florida is working to protect the public from foodborne illnesses resulting from improper food handling practices.

 Who Needs a Food Handler Certificate?

As mentioned, anyone working in a food service establishment in Florida needs a Food Handler Certificate. This includes chefs and cooks, servers, bartenders, hosts/hostesses, and dishwashers. If you handle food in any way as part of your job, you must have a Food Handler Certificate. 

It’s also worth noting that some counties in Florida have additional food safety requirements beyond the state’s minimum standards. For example, Miami-Dade County requires all food service workers to obtain a Food Handler Card and a Food Handler Certificate. So, it’s important to check with your local health department to ensure you meet all the requirements.

 How to obtain a Food Handler Certificate

Obtaining a Food Handler Certificate is a relatively simple process. The first step is to complete a state-approved food safety training course. There are many different providers of these courses, both online and in-person, so it’s important to research and finds a system that meets your needs.

Some of the most popular providers of Florida Food Handler Certificate training include ServSafe, Learn2Serve, and SafeStaff. Each of these providers offers an online course that can be completed at your own pace and in-person classes for those who prefer a more traditional classroom setting.

Once you’ve completed the training course, you’ll need to pass an exam on food safety. This exam can typically be taken online, and you’ll need a passing score to obtain your certificate.

The training course and exam cost vary depending on your chosen provider but generally ranges from $15 to $30. Remember that some employers may pay for their employees’ training and exam fees, so it’s always worth checking with your employer before paying for the course yourself.

It’s important to note that your Food Handler Certificate will expire after three years. At that point, you’ll need to complete a new training course and pass the exam again to renew your certificate.

 Benefits of obtaining a Food Handler Certificate

Obtaining a Food Handler Certificate is not only a requirement for working in the food service industry in Florida, but it also has several benefits for both food handlers and their employers. 

For food handlers, having a Food Handler Certificate demonstrates that they have a basic understanding of food safety principles, which can help them to prevent foodborne illnesses and ensure the safety of their customers. It can also make them more attractive to potential employers, showing they are committed to their profession and willing to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.

For employers, having a staff trained in food safety can help reduce the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks and improve overall food quality. This can lead to better customer satisfaction and a stronger reputation for the establishment.

In addition, some insurance companies offer discounts on liability insurance for food service establishments with a staff trained in food safety. Getting a Food Handler Certificate could save your employer money on insurance premiums.

In conclusion, obtaining a Food Handler Certificate is a requirement for anyone in Florida’s food service industry. This certificate demonstrates that an individual understands food safety principles and is committed to preventing foodborne illnesses.

Obtaining a Florida Food Handler Certificate is simple and can be completed through a state-approved training course and exam. Do it with us! 

By obtaining this certification, food handlers can improve their job prospects, and employers can enhance their establishments’ overall safety and quality.

As a Certified ServSafe instructor, it’s important to ensure that your students know the requirements for obtaining a Food Handler Certificate and its benefits. By doing so, you can help promote food safety and improve the quality of the food service industry in Florida.


Suppose you’re a food service establishment owner or manager in Florida. In that case, ensuring your staff is trained in food safety and has a Florida Food Handler Certificate is important. As Certified ServSafe instructors, we can provide your team with the training they need to obtain their Food Handler Certificates. Contact us!


How can we help you?

Get in touch with us or find our office near you

Related Post