Food Handler Program

Food Handler Program


According to San Diego County Code, everyone who handles food must have a food handler card. You can get this card in one of two ways:

  • Food Handler Card: You can get a valid card from a training school approved by the county.
  • Food Handler Test: You can take a County of San Diego food handler test. This test must be given by a current food safety manager who has passed a state-approved food safety certification exam.

It is very important to make sure the test or training you take is approved for San Diego County. Not all courses in California are accepted here. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at (858) 505-6900.

To get a training packet for $2.00, please visit our San Diego Office located at 5500 Overland Ave, Suite 170, San Diego, CA 92123 or email our Specialist on Duty at

All food handlers are required by San Diego County Code to possess either a valid food handler card issued by a county-authorized food handler training school or a County of San Diego food handler test administered by the current food safety manager who has passed a state-approved food safety certification exam. 


Your food handler card lasts for 3 years. To renew it, you must complete a 3-hour training course and pass a test from an approved food handler training school. If you lose your card, contact the school to get a new one. The expiration date will be the same as your first card. If you can't get a new one, you'll have to retake the training and pass the test again. For any questions, call us at (858) 505-6900.


There is also a state law that requires at least one owner or employee in each food facility to pass a state-approved food safety certification exam. Each certification lasts for 5 years and must be renewed. 

Please contact the Food Safety Manager Certification courses directly.

ServSafe / National Restaurant Association (ANSI ID: 0655)
Phone:    (800) 765-4842   

National Registry of Food Safety Professionals (ANSI ID: 0656)
Phone:    (619) 885-5522 or (800) 446-0257
Website:, Inc. (ANSI ID: 0975)
Phone:    (888) 360-8764

AboveTraining / (ANSI ID: 1020)
Phone:    (801) 494-1416

The Always Food Safety Company, LLC (ANSI ID: 1203)
Phone: (303) 500-1157

1 AAA Food Handler (ANSI ID: 8952)
Phone: (714) 592-4100

Responsible Training / Safeway Certifications, LLC (ANSI ID: 1042)
Phone: (512) 996-0909



Foodhandler Training requirements under San Diego County Code

Food Handler Training Schools List (County authorized)

Food Handler Booklet (English) (Updated 03/19/2021)

Food Handler Booklet (Spanish) (Updated 03/19/2021)

Food Handler Booklet (Chinese)

Food Handler Booklet (Vietnamese)

If you have any questions regarding the food handler program, please call (858) 505-6900 or e-mail


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