California Food Safety Certification

State Regulations

Food facilities that prepare, handle, or serve non-prepackaged potentially hazardous food, must have an owner or employee who has successfully passed an approved and accredited ANAB-CFP food safety certification examination.

Certification Exam

Mandatory statewide

Approved Certification Exams

ANAB-CFP Accredited Certification exams such as ServSafe, NRFSP, Always Food Safe, AboveTraining, 360 Training, and Prometric.

Food Safety Training Requirement


Certificate Renewal

5 years

Other Regulations

California Food Handler Card: Pursuant to Senate Bill 303, all food handlers are required to obtain a food handler card within 30 days of their date of hire from an ANAB-accredited training provider.

For more information about the California Food Handler Card Law please click here.

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Which food safety certification programs are approved in California?

ServSafe, NRFSP, Always Food Safe, AboveTraining, 360 Training, and Prometric are all ANAB-CFP accredited examinations approved in California.

How long is the Food Protection Manager certificate valid for?

5 years

Is there a requirement for food safety training to obtain the Food Manager Certification?

No. Passing a nationally approved food safety accredited examination is considered sufficient. However, we recommend that you take a food safety training course to prepare for the certification exam.

Do I have to register with the Environmental Health Services after I pass the food safety certification exam?

The law does not require that the Food Manager registers with the local or state healthy agency. Test providers such as ServSafe,will issue a numbered certificate to each person who passes the food safety certification exam. Health inspectors will accept a valid certificate as proof of compliance.

Do I need to have a certified food protection manager employed before I open my business?

The law provides 60 days to ensure that a food facility has a certified food protection manager employed when a new business is started, change of ownership, or if the certified food protection manager leaves the business.

Which food facilities are exempt?

Mobile food facilities such as hot dog carts, temporary food booths, farmer’s markets, produce stands and any market that handles only packaged foods are not required to have a certified food protection manager on staff. If you are unsure, please contact your local health department.

Does the food manager law apply to school districts and colleges?

School and college fund service operations must comply with the food manager requirements unless they are regulated by a local food safety certification program that includes training in food safety.

My business has several permits from the health department for a restaurant, café and delicatessen. Do I need a certified food manager for each permit?

If all food facilities at the location are under the same ownership, one certified food protection manager is required for all the operations. If the food facilities are under different ownership or at a different location, each one must have their own certified food protection manager.