Indiana Certified Food Handler

State Regulations

At least one food handler at a food establishment must be a certified food handler who has passed an examination by an ANAB-CFP program, such as ServSafe.

Certification Exam


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

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Online Training and Exam Options

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  • Available in English and Spanish.


What is a Food Handler?

A food handler is defined as an individual who is an owner, operator, manager or an employee of a food establishment; and is responsible for or oversees the storage, preparation, display, or serving of food to the public.

Does the Certified Food Handler need to be present at the food facility at all times?

No, the Certified Food Handler need not be present at the food establishment during all hours of operation. However, there must be a certified food handler responsible for all periods of operations.

Are there minimum hours of training to obtain the Food Manager Certification?

Attending a training course is recommend but not required. The only requirement is to pass an exam from an approved provider such as ServSafe. Premier Food Safety does recommend online training and reading the study guide before attending an exam.

Does the food establishment need to keep a record of the food safety manager’s certification?

Yes a food service establishment must maintain a copy of its certified food handler’s documentation of a passing score on file at the establishment. The food service establishment’s person in charge must provide this documentation to the local health office or his designated representative upon request.

Can the same person be employed by more than one food establishment – and be designated as the certified food handler for more than one food establishment?

No, the same person cannot be designated as the certified food handler for more than one food establishment – except for the provisions set forth with regard to “contiguous properties”.

Do I need to have a Certified Food Handler if my business is just opening or if it changes ownership?

Establishments have 6 months to be in compliance with the food handler law.

What happens when the Certified Food Handler leaves the establishment and there are no other food handlers who are certified in the establishment?

The establishment has 3 months to come into compliance with the rule. This applies to Temporary Establishments as well.

Which establishments are exempt from the Certified Food Handler requirement?

(1) Hospitals licensed under IC 16-21;

(2) Health facilities licensed under IC 16-28;

(3) Housing with services establishments that are required to file disclosure statements under IC 12-10-15; or

(4) Continuing care retirement communities required to file disclosure statements under IC 23-2-4;

(5) Community mental health centers (as defined in IC 12-7-2-38);

(6) Private mental health institutions licensed under IC 12-25;

(7) An area agency on aging designated under IC 12-10-1 that provides food under a nutrition service program. However, the premise where the food is prepared is not exempt from the requirements under this chapter.

(8) A food pantry that: (A) is operated or affiliated with a nonprofit organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and (B) distributes food, which may include food from the United States Department of Agriculture, to needy persons;

(j) A food bank or other facility that distributes donated food to other organizations is not exempt from the requirements of this rule;

(k) An organization that is exempt from the state gross retail tax under IC 6-2.5-5-21(b)(1)(B), IC 6-2.5-5-21(b)(1)(C), or IC 6-2.5-5-21(b)(1)(D) is exempt from complying with the requirements of this rule;

(l) This section does not prohibit an exempted organization from waiving the exemption and using a certified food handler.

The certified food handler requirement does not apply to a food establishment when the food establishment’s food handling activities are limited solely to one or more of the following:

  • Heating or serving precooked foods
  • Preparing or serving continental breakfast such as rolls, coffee, juice, milk, and cold cereal
  • Preparing or service nonalcoholic or alcoholic beverages that are not potentially hazardous beverages or ice.
  • Preparing or serving packaged or unpackaged foods that are not potentially hazardous foods, including elephant ears, funnel cakes, cotton candy, confectionaries, baked goods, popcorn, and chips and grinding coffee beans.
  • Providing prepackaged food in its original package.