Food Handler Certification:
The new food handler certification is going into effect on July 1, 2014. This is going to affect ALL establishments that prepare food items in Monroe County.
ANSI approve Food Handler Courses:
Listing of all local health departments:
Frequently Asked Questions
Food Handler Training in Illinois
The following answers have been taken from the FAQ sheet distributed to Local Health Departments from The Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies. The answers are based on Public Act 098-0566 and proposed rules that are in the review process. Some of the answers are subject to change.
Who is considered a Food Handler?
A Food Handler is a Food Employee as defined in Section 750.110 of the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code, “means individual working with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils or food-contact surfaces.”
Who is required to have Food Handler Training?
Any food handler working in the state of Illinois, unless that person has a valid Illinois Food Service Sanitation manager Certification (FSSMC). If someone working in a facility that is not a food handler on a regular basis, but fills in as a food handler when needed, they too must have food handler training.
Who is NOT required to have Food Handler Training?
Anyone working in a facility that is not a food handler by definition or any food handler that has a valid Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC).
What type of training is required and by what date?
The first thing is to determine what category the facility you work at falls into, which is either a restaurant or a non-restaurant. See attached Food Handler Training Determination Tree.
Food Handlers working in a Restaurant
What is a restaurant?
“Restaurant” means any business that is primarily engaged in the sale of ready-to-eat food for immediate consumption. Where “primarily engaged” means having sales of ready-to-eat food for immediate consumption comprising at least 51% of the total sales, excluding the sale of liquor, as defined in Section 3 of the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act. For the purposes of this definition, restaurants would include concessions and other food service establishments where food is intended for immediate or on-site consumption.
What is the time line for implementation?
All food handlers working in restaurants shall have training completed by July 1, 2014. Enforcement will be limited to notification and education July 1- December 31, 2014.
What type of training is offered for Restaurants?
Food handler courses with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval can be found on the ANSI website at:https://www.ansica.org/wwwversion2/outside/ALLdirectoryListing.asp?menuID=212&prgID=228&status=4 (states California, but can also be used in Illinois). The course and assessment can be completed online, 24 hours/day and does not need to be monitored by and instructor. Upon passing the assessment, the certificate is immediately available to print. A local health department that has a Department approved training program may provide training for restaurants. For a list of local health departments: http://www.idph.state.il.us/local/alpha.htm. Any business with an internal training program approved in another state prior to August 27, 2013.
How is the training administered?
Training can be online, computer, classroom, live trainers, remote trainers, and by certified food service sanitation managers. For those food handlers working in restaurants, the training must be ANSI approved, unless their local health department has been approved by the Department to provide food handler training to restaurants or they work for a business with a Department approved internal training program.
Will everyone receiving Food Handlers Training receive a certificate?
Not every food handler training course will issue a certificate, but proof of training must be available in the facility upon inspector request All ANSI approved food handler training courses will issue a certificate upon passing the assessment. The Department will provide a sample certificate upon approval that may be used by those with approved training programs.
How long is the certificate valid?
The ANSI food handler training is good for 3 years and those taking other types of training that work in restaurant and other facilities such as: nursing homes, licensed day care homes and facilities, hospitals, schools, and long-term care facilities are good for 3 years.
Those working in are not required to take another food handler training unless they go to work for another employer. Food handler training for those working in is not transferable between employers.
Will my food handler certificate be valid throughout the entire state of Illinois?
training certificates are valid throughout the entire state of Illinois, unless the training was obtained internally at a facility through a Department approved training program.
Who can teach Food Handler courses?
Anyone can teach food handler training courses. It is important to remember, it is not who is teaching the training. But that you receive the appropriate training base on whether you work in a restaurant or . Food handlers in restaurants can take the following training:
- Food handler courses with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval can be found on the ANSI website at:
(States California, but can also be used in Illinois.) The course and assessment can be completed online, 24 hours/day and do not need to be monitored by an instructor. Upon passing the assessment, the certificate is immediately available to print.
- A local health department that has a Department approved training program may provide training for restaurants. For a list of all local health departments: http://www.idph.state.il.us/local/alpha.htm
- Any business with an internal training program approved in another state prior to August 27, 2013
Can a “train the trainer” approach be used, where one person attends training and they go back and teach others within their facility?
No, this would not be acceptable for food handlers working in restaurants because the food handler needs to receive the training themselves and be assessed by the approved training program provider.
Is there a set fee for the course?
No, the Act states there has to be at least one food handler training option available for $15.00 or less and there are multiple ANSI approved programs available online at that price.