For years, existing California law required food employees to obtain and pay for their own food handler card training. A new law recently passed will shift the financial responsibility to employers.
Senate Bill 476 (SB 476) amends the cost burden in Section 113948 of the California Health and Safety Code, which requires workers to obtain a food handler card within 30 days of hire and to maintain a valid card for their entire employment.
Under SB 476, training must be provided during normal work hours at no cost to employees. Employers must compensate their staff for the cost of the food handler course, time spent completing it and any other associated costs.
Additionally, employees are relieved of all other work duties while taking a training course and examination.
This new law goes into effect on January 1, 2024.
Comprehensive Training Solutions
StateFoodSafety provides a number of helpful solutions to help ensure employers and workers remain compliant with California food handler training requirements under SB 476.
We make training and compliance simple with:
- ANAB-accredited and locally-approved courses for all California counties
- Flexible billing options – including an option to purchase multiple training vouchers at a discount
- Easy tracking of your employees' course progress, food handler cards and certificates
- Enterprise solutions, including custom integrations for your existing onboarding program
- A short 75-minute course length for all California programs, saving you time and money
- Training in seven languages: English, Spanish, Simplified Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and American Sign Language
- Secure access, monitoring and reporting
Who Is Required to Have a Food Handler Card?
Most states require food workers to hold a food handlers card. Food workers typically include any employee who works with unpackaged food, food contact surfaces, utensils or food equipment.
The vast majority of employees in California who prepare, store or serve food must have a California Food Handler Card. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Chefs and head chefs
- Cooks and head cooks
- Hosts and hostesses who handle food
Workers at certain facilities are exempt from the food handler training requirement. This includes employees at:
- Certified farmers markets
- Grocery stores
- Licensed health care facilities
- Public and private school cafeterias
- And others as listed in the bill
To maintain compliance with California law – and to save time and money – employers can incorporate the following solutions to efficiently navigate these new regulatory requirements.
Accredited Training for All of California
Our California food handler program is ANAB-accredited and approved by the California Department of Public Health. We also offer customized curricula for counties with location-specific training requirements, including Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.
Group Purchase System
StateFoodSafety offers a simple and convenient way to purchase, manage and track training for multiple employees in four easy steps.
- Employer selects course type and quantity
- Employer assigns vouchers to employees
- Employees redeem vouchers to begin training
- Employers track employee progress and see a list of all active certificates
Each employee receives a voucher code that provides access to a food safety course pre-purchased by their employer. Each voucher code is valid for one specific course. Skip the hassle of reimbursing employee-bought programs and tracking down earned certificates – it's all right there on your dashboard!
Seamless Integration with Any LMS
Integrating our courses with your existing Learning Management System (LMS) is another popular option available to enterprise-level businesses. Our proprietary technology can easily integrate with the most popular LMS platforms.
Employers can assign training and track employee progress in the system of record – no separate logins, no learning new systems, no data imports needed.
Flexible Payment and Billing Options
We recognize the importance of cost-effectiveness in the restaurant industry and offer the most comprehensive food safety training at competitive prices. In addition to bulk purchase discounts, other payment options include subscription, invoicing and pay-as-you-go. Corporate discounts are also available.
Compliance Made Easy
Help your employees learn to prepare, store and serve food safely with 100% online food handler card training.
Our food safety programs use the latest instructional design techniques to help employees prepare for their exam, memorize key food safety principles and earn a food handlers card.
Employees can train completely online, which makes food handler training convenient and flexible. The online format allows food handlers to satisfy training requirements using any device with an internet connection.
ANAB-accredited training is available to ensure all employees satisfy state or county requirements. StateFoodSafety’s state food handler program is approved by the California Department of Public Health, and county-specific programs are approved by local health departments.
– Jim Simpson