Since 2011, the state of California has required all food service employees to complete a food handler training program accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) within 30 days after hire. This applies to all workers who prepare, store or handle food for the public. Known as the California Food Handler Law, it is designed to protect the public from foodborne illnesses.
Passed on Oct. 8, 2023, CA Senate Bill Senate Bill 476 (SB 476) amended this law to shift the financial responsibility outlined in Section 113948 of the California Health and Safety Code from workers to employers. This section previously mandated that workers pay all costs associated with food handler card training.
SB 476 now requires employers to cover employees’ expenses for food handler card courses, compensation for time spent in training, and other associated costs. Notably, employees are exempt from their regular work tasks while training and testing.
The amended law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Accredited Training Solutions
eFoodHandlers offers an ANAB-accredited food safety training program to ensure that workers and employers maintain compliance with California requirements under SB 476. The interactive course includes videos and learning exercises to provide quality training options for every learning style.
Efficient training and compliance solutions include:
- ANAB-accredited program approved by the California Department of Public Health
- Save with bulk pricing discounts on group purchases
- Finish in 75 minutes — the fastest online program in California
- Courses offered in English and Spanish
- Create a corporate account to manage course purchases with single-click payment
- Purchase, assign, and track pre-paid course tokens that remain valid for one year
- Monitor employee training progress and pending expirations online
- Easily track, report, and verify food handler cards with the eFoodHandlers Manager Dashboard
- Instantly print and download certificates
Additionally, eFoodHandlers partners with StateFoodSafety to provide customized programs for California counties with local training requirements, including Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
Who Needs a Food Handler Card?
In California, as in most states, the law mandates that most food employees engaged in food preparation, storage, or service must possess a food handler card.
Additionally, California employees handling unpackaged food, food contact surfaces, utensils, or food equipment are required to complete an ANAB-accredited food handler training program. Upon completion, workers are issued a certificate, a laminated card, or a badge.
Most employees who prepare, store, or serve food in California must have a valid food handler card. This includes:
- Chefs and cooks
- Hosts and hostesses who serve food
However, some food workers are exempt from food handler training requirements. This includes workers at these locations:
- Grocery stores
- Licensed health care locations
- Public and private school cafeterias
- Certified farmers markets
Hassle-Free Online Training and Options
Employees can complete their training entirely online, offering flexibility and convenience. The online format allows food handlers to meet state training requirements using any device with internet access.
All state-approved food handler card programs have the endorsement of the California Department of Public Health, and county-specific programs are approved by local health departments.
The purpose of the eFoodHandlers training course is to expose food handlers to important food safety concepts. It is intended to instill a basic understanding and awareness of critical food safety concepts, including foodborne illnesses, sanitization, and time and temperature controls. Free re-tests are offered, and certificates are valid for three years.
Training program highlights include:
- The Importance of Food Safety
- Health and Hygiene
- Temperature Control
- Avoiding Cross Contamination
- Cleaning and Sanitizing
- Food Worker Top 10
By the end of this course, food workers will be able to:
- Recognize how food can cause illness or allergic reactions
- Prevent contamination of food and food-contact surfaces with the hands and body
- Identify which symptoms or illnesses must be reported to a manager
- Use time and temperature control throughout the flow of food
- Maintain a clean environment for food preparation and service
Flexible Payment and Billing Options
Recognizing the importance of cost-effectiveness within the restaurant industry, we offer comprehensive food safety training at competitive rates. In addition to bulk purchase discounts, we provide payment options such as subscriptions, invoicing, and pay-as-you-go.
A Business Account allows employers to train multiple staff members quickly and efficiently. Depending on your group size, eFoodHandlers offers these and many other options:
- Easily assign courses and track training progress
- Manage transcripts for all food workers
- Ensure compliance by location or manager
- Access certificates on-demand
- Understand potential risk through analysis
Simple Compliance Solutions
Keep your business safe by helping workers learn proper food handling, storage, and service with our 100% online food handler card training program.
eFoodHandlers training features the latest instructional design techniques to help employees understand and retain essential food safety principles. The program makes it simple to maintain current food handler regulation compliance.
Approved by the California Department of Public Health, our ANAB-accredited training meets the highest industry standards, ensuring all employees meet state or local requirements to keep your business running smoothly.
California’s Food Handler Card Law – ANSI Blog. (2011, September 16). Retrieved from https://blog.ansi.org/californias-food-handler-card-law/
California Legislative Information. (2023, October 8). SB-476 Food safety: food handlers. Retrieved from https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240SB476
California Public Law – California Codes. (2023, August 19). CA Health & Safety Code Section 113948. Retrieved from https://california.public.law/codes/ca_health_and_safety_code_section_113948
San Diego County Environmental Health and Quality. (n.d.). Food Handler Program. Retrieved from https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/deh/fhd/food/foodhandler.html