Although this site is dedicated to bartenders and the licenses required to become one, there is another certification that we’re often asked about – the food handlers card.
In the sections below we will cover what a food handlers card is and whether or not bartenders should become certified.
Apron up. Let’s dive in…
What is a food handlers card?
A food handlers card (also known as a food handlers permit, certification, or license), is an official document proving that an employee has received proper safety instruction for handling food.
Employees in the U.S. restaurant industry use their food handlers card to prove to the health department (and employers) that they have successfully completed a state-approved food safety course, and that they have a basic understanding of food safety procedures.
Some U.S. states and local jurisdictions require that ALL employees (including bartenders) at the food establishment must receive a food handlers card, while other states and jurisdictions don’t have such requirement.
Are bartenders required to have a food handlers card?
Food handler card requirements – just like bartending licenses – vary by state and sometimes even by counties.
Generally, most states DO NOT require bartenders to receive a food handlers card. Some exceptions include California, Arizona, Oregon, Texas, Illinois and Washington – all of which require bartenders and barbacks to receive food handler training.
To find out if your state or county requires a food handlers card, you can visit our sister website Food Handlers Card Help for all food handler card requirements.
Should you get a food handlers card even if it is not required?
Even if your state does not require bartenders to receive a food handlers card, it may still be in your best interest to become certified.
As a bartender on the hunt for a job, anything you can do to strengthen your resume is worth it.
By becoming certified in the safe handling of food with a food handlers card, you are proving to your future employer that you are serious about the food and drink industry and are someone that they should give a chance to.
How much does a food handlers card cost?
A great perk about food handlers cards is that they are VERY cheap. Often, you can get the card and complete a course for under $10.
There is a bit of a catch however, as cards generally only last for 2-3 years.
Most online course providers will also often give a discount for bartending license and food handler card packages. So be on the lookout.
Here at Bartending License Help we generally suggest that bartenders should become food handler certified regardless of if they ever want to handle food directly in the bar.
For under $15, the benefits significantly outweigh the costs in regards to the amount of credibility that a food handlers card lends your resume.
Plus, with the new bundles that online test providers offer, it really is a no-brainer.