In a food service business, food safety is paramount. Every day, chefs, servers, cooks, and bartenders work with many ingredients. You must understand that the stakes are high. Foodborne illnesses can be caused by simple mistakes, such as using vegetables that haven’t been washed or meat that has yet to be refrigerated. So, as owner of a business, it’s your job to make sure that every worker who handles food has the appropriate food handler license. The license shows that the worker has had basic training in food safety and knows how to keep a kitchen clean.
So whether you’re a business owner, or an aspiring food handle, getting this license can be challenging. But worry not because we’re here to discuss these essential matters. If you’re aiming for an Illinois Food Handler License, read this post to learn more.
Food Handler License
Every restaurant in the US needs a license to handle food, yet the process is very different from one state and city to the next. Even though there aren’t rules about how to get one everywhere, it’s easy once you already know the rules. For startups, Food Handler License means a card, a certificate, or a permit.
It proves that you’ve taken and passed a state- or county-approved food safety course. Generally, anyone whose work comes with unpackaged food, equipment, or a surface that comes into contact with food is a food handler or food employee.
Of course, to get one, you must pass the food handlers course to obtain a food handlers card. These courses go over crucial industry practices. Students must learn important rules about the temperature of food, allergens, keeping tools clean, washing their hands, and more.
Today, you can get a permit to work with food online. You are tested on knowing what causes foodborne illnesses and what symptoms mean you shouldn’t go or attend work. Depending on the state or city, a course can cost you anywhere from $5 to $30.
Who Needs This License?
The license is best for all employees who work in the food industry. When the health inspectors come, you’ll have just one less thing to worry about. You don’t want to avoid getting in trouble with the health code because your employees must learn to keep food safe.
At the very least, people who work with food directly, like line cooks, prep cooks, and even the bartenders, should have licenses. There is also a separate food protection certification for people who manage in charge.
How To Acquire The License
To acquire an Illinois Food Handler License, you must take a recognized course and should pass an exam. You may find online and even on-site classes, and you’ll get trained and certified in just few hours. This is excellent news for managers, owners, and employees who are always on the go.
Where to Find a Training Program?
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has a listing of more than 25 groups that offer courses on handling food safely. ANSI has approved these programs. That means they’ve been evaluated and certified to educate international food and safety standards.
Besides, there is also online training accessible and available for everyone. Courses are usually self-paced and presented in multiple languages, like English, Mandarin, and Spanish. Even your phone or tablet can be used to take the course.
Challenges You May Encounter
Like most processes, there can be challenges that you may encounter once you go through the process. Check out these important notes you may encounter below.
Understanding The State Regulations
Getting a food handler’s license can vary depending on the state. It can take time to understand your area’s specific requirements and regulations.
Approved Training Programs
Finding a state-approved training program for food handlers can be challenging because not all training programs are accepted for licensing. It can be challenging for people who work full-time or have other obligations to find time to go to a training session. Also, a food handler training program can take several hours to finish.
Cost & Value
Food handler training programs can be expensive and pay for training. The license can be a financial challenge for some individuals.
Passing the exam
After people finish the training, they may have to take an exam to see how much they know about food safety. The test can be challenging, and you must pass on the first try to save time and money.
Renewal of License
Most food handler licenses need to be renewed every so often. People who are busy or forgetful can find it hard to keep up with renewal requirements. If you don’t renew your license on time, you could be fined or face other legal consequences.
These problems may differ in your state, depending on what you need to do to get a food handler’s license. It’s essential to check with the licensing authority in your state to find out what the specific rules and steps are in your area.
Getting Your Food Handler License
Anyone working in the food industry must get a license to handle food. It shows that you care about food safety and have the skills to handle food safely and responsibly. So why hold out? Get your license today and take the first step toward a successful career in the food industry.