Food Handler Certification
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Food Handler Certification An Overview A. Scott Gilliam, MBA, CFSP Director, Food Protection Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). The Conference for Food Protection (CFP). A non-profit organization that provides input into the formulation of retail food laws in America .

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The Conference for Food Protection (CFP)

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The conference for food protection cfp

Food Handler CertificationAn OverviewA. Scott Gilliam, MBA, CFSPDirector, Food ProtectionIndiana State Department of Health (ISDH)

The conference for food protection cfp

The Conference for Food Protection (CFP)

  • Anon-profit organization that provides input into the formulation of retail food laws in America.

Stakeholders represented in the cfp

Stakeholders Represented in the CFP

  • Regulators

  • Retail Food Industry

  • Academic Institutions

  • Professional Organizations

  • Consumers

Objectives of the cfp

Objectives of the CFP

  • Identify retail food safety problems and promote solutions that are based on sound science

  • Promote the uniform interpretation and implementation of regulations governing food safety

  • Work with all stakeholders to disseminate information regarding food safety issues

Standing and ad hoc committees

Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

  • Several committees work between the regular meetings of the Conference to research problems, develop interventions and address various retail food safety issues

    • Example is the Retail Food Manager Certification Committee

Demonstration of competency

Demonstration of Competency

  • The FDA Model Food Coderequires retail food managers to demonstrate competency in food safety including knowledge of the:

    • causes of foodborne illness,

    • factors that contribute to these diseases, and

    • basic food safety measures that can be implemented to prevent foodborne illness

Three ways to demonstrate competency

Three Ways to Demonstrate Competency

  • Have a history of high sanitation scores at the establishment

  • Answer questions posed by the inspector, or

  • Pass a CFP “Recognized” Food Protection Manager Certification Examination

Isdh rule 410 iac 7 20 95 indiana version of the fda competency provision

ISDH Rule 410 IAC 7-20 -95(Indiana Version of the FDA Competency Provision)

  • Requires Foodborne Illness Prevention Training - Section 95

  • Training must cover the same knowledge areas of competency as the FDA

  • Proven to be problematic

Concerns of the regulatory community

Concerns of the Regulatory Community

  • Agencies lack the skills and resources required to evaluate examinations, certification programs, and credentials

  • Agencies need to be sure that people who hold certificates are deemed to be competent through a valid, reliable and legally defensible process

Concerns of the retail food industry

Concerns of the Retail Food Industry

  • Training and testing must be readily available and at a reasonable cost

  • The lack of standardization across jurisdictions impedes reciprocity

  • Unregulated certification programs may result in meaningless credentials and people who are certified, but who may not be competent

Cfp accreditation process

CFP Accreditation Process

  • Intended to assure that certification programs:

    • use only instruments that have been developed according to sound psychometric principles to test managers

    • test managers only on information essential to food safety practices

Cfp accreditation process1

CFP Accreditation Process

  • Ensures that legal and due process rights are maintained for certified individuals

  • Provides adequate test security

  • Prevents instructors from teaching to the test

Benefits to regulatory jurisdictions

Benefits to Regulatory Jurisdictions

  • No need to expend resources to evaluate programs

  • Assured that all accredited programs have met, and continue to meet CFP Standards

  • Uniform national standard for compliance which facilitates reciprocity

Benefits to providers

Benefits to Providers

  • Ensures that all programs have met minimum quality standards

  • Eliminates the need for certifying agencies to gain acceptanceinhundreds of jurisdictions

Benefits to candidates

Benefits to Candidates

  • Assures that the certificate is based on a valid, reliable, and legally defensible assessment process

  • Allows competitive market forces to benefit candidates (ie., price of exams) without sacrificing examination quality

Benefits to candidates1

Benefits to Candidates

  • Allows reciprocity among jurisdictions without having to re-certify

  • Protects a candidate’s due process and legal rights

Benefits to the consumer

Benefits to the Consumer

  • Better trained individuals in oversight positions will provide a safer food product and reduce disease spread

  • Will reduce employee turnover thereby minimizing the need for retraining which will translate into better quality service

Senate bill 404 created indiana code 16 42 5 2

Senate Bill 404 created Indiana Code 16-42-5.2

  • Created certification in Indiana

  • Mandates that the state develop a rule to administer the program

  • Mandates the state develop penalties for noncompliance

Food handler certification fhc rule 410 iac 7 22

Food Handler Certification (FHC) Rule 410 IAC 7-22

  • Preliminarily adopted on November 13, 2002 by the ISDH Executive Board

  • Became effective June 13, 2003

  • Mirrors state statute with some additions

Provisions of the new fhc rule

Provisions of the new FHC rule:

  • Definitions

  • Requirements

  • Penalties

Definitions of the fhc rule

Definitions of the FHC rule:

  • Accreditation

  • Accredited Certification Examination

  • Accrediting Organization (ANSI)

  • Accredited Testing Service

Definitions continued

Definitions continued:

  • Certification Document

  • Certified Food Handler

  • Recertification



January 1, 2005 Deadline

One (1) certified food handler per facility

6 months to comply with a change in ownership of an establishment

3 months to comply when the certified food handler leaves employment

Requirements continued

Requirements Continued:

Only one (1) certified food handler for facilities located on contiguous property

Person-in-charge present at all times

The certification must be recognized by the CFP (ANSI) or the ISDH

Certification qualifications

Certification Qualifications:

  • Successfully pass an accredited examination

  • Provide name, certification document and photo identification to regulatory authority upon request

  • Cannot represent themselves as certified unless legally certified

Additional points

Additional Points:

  • Local Health Departments can not mandate any type of certification other than what is provided in the state law

  • Schools, prisons, jails must also comply

  • Certified person does not need to be present at all times

Exemptions to the law

Exemptions to the law:

  • Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Assisted Living and Continuing Care Facilities

  • Food Establishments that minimally handle food, such as:

    • Serving precooked hot dogs/sausage products, nachos, pretzels, or frozen pizza

    • Preparing/serving continental breakfast

Exemptions continued

Exemptions continued:

  • Other minimal food operations

    • Preparing beverages or ice

    • Grinding coffee beans

    • Non-potentially hazardous prepackaged foods

    • Heating of bakery products

    • Providing food in its original package

Approved providers of exams

Approved Providers of Exams:

  • Experior Assessments


    • 800-624-2736

Approved providers of exams1

Approved Providers of Exams:

  • National Registry of Food safetyProfessionals

    • 800-446-0257

  • National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

    • 800-765-2122



  • Rule is now in effect

  • Certification deadline is January 1, 2005

  • Exemptions will have to be dealt with on a case by case basis, but the ISDH will provide guidance

Questions www in gov isdh regsvcs foodprot draftrule1 htm


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