Running a restaurant is nothing short of an adventure. From planning the day’s menu, choosing the freshest ingredients, cooking the food, having it reach the customer’s table to managing the line during the busiest period. Each team member is a small gear that keeps the bigger machine (i.e. the restaurant) running smoothly. Another layer of complexity is in doing all of the above while sticking to the food and health safety guidelines by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Failure to do so will result in operation shut down at best and a mass food-related epidemic at worst. So, if you are involved in any stage of bringing the food from the farm to the table of a customer, it is important to have a food handler’s permit. With changing technology and newer forms of microbes (e.g. COVID-19) affecting the human population, the food handlers permit is only valid for three years from the date of issuance and needs to be renewed before expiration.
You might have questions about how to renew your food handlers permit and the article achieves to do the same. Before we move towards understanding the steps to renewal, let’s first understand what a food handlers permit is and why you need one?
What is a food handler’s permit?
Food handlers permit, food handlers card, food handlers certificate call it what you want but it ends up being the same document that certifies the holder to be skilled enough to handle food professionally. Food handlers permit is only awarded when you undergo training that educates you about different precautions to take while handling food in a professional setting. At the end of the training, you need to score at least 75% in an exam related to the training. Most public bodies and private institutes run courses that award the certificate on commencement. Different states have different rules regarding but as per the state rules of Utah, it is important for all the staff to have the permit whether coming in direct or indirect contact with the food.
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Why do you need one?
The main reason why you should get food handlers to permit is that it is mandated for anyone in the food industry to hold food handlers permit as it symbolizes that the person has undergone the necessary training and is aware of the different precautions to take for ensuring food safety and security. The other reasons include:
Looks good on a resume
While applying for a job in the food business, highlighting the certification will ensure that the recruiter is aware of your food handling qualifications. Having a food handlers permit makes the holder not a liability for the institution. This means they don’t need to go through the pains of teaching it again while training you.
You become more responsible for food
When you learn to handle food professionally, it seeps into your habit while doing the same elsewhere. You begin to become observant of the different wrong practices you may have picked up while preparing food earlier. You take extra care during food preparation and storage to ensure the internal temperature of food is above the danger zone.
All it takes is a day’s worth of time
To be certified as a food handlers permit holder, all you need to do is enroll in the classes, watch the pre-recorded videos of 75 minutes divided into 4 sections, and clear the exam within 30 days of viewing the lectures. On passing with 75% or better, you can print the temporary permit, which is valid for 30 days. You shall receive your permanent permit within 30 days of your test passing. In a nutshell, by sparing a day’s worth of time, you can clear your way in working in the food industry.
How do I renew my food handlers permit?
Before your existing food handlers permit expires, it is important to renew and the process is similar to applying for a new permit. The candidate needs to again undergo training by watching the video lectures and attempting to clear the exams with a 75% or better score. On completion, you shall again download a temporary permit and receive a permanent permit via U.S. Mail after 30 days.
Any food handlers permit, whether new or renewed, is considered by the state authorities to be capable enough to handle food professionally. By sticking true to what you learned, you can rest assured that the food you serve to the customer is free from any contamination or pathogens.