Food Handler Program

San Diego County Code requires food handlers to possess a valid food handler card issued by:

  1. One of the County-authorized Food Handler Training Schools or
  2. The County of San Diego In-House Exam, administered by a Food Safety Manager (FSM) at the Facility (Only valid for the specific facility, under the FSM certificate.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Ensure your food handler card course is for a SAN DIEGO COUNTY approved course. Not all California food handler card courses are approved in San Diego County.

English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese are $2.00. A valid Food Safety Manager Certification is required to purchase in-person at San Diego Office: 5500 Overland Ave. Suite 170. San Diego, CA 92123 or email our Specialist on Duty for more options (    

Food handler cards are valid for 3 years.

Renew your card: Complete a 3-hour training course and pass an exam provided by one of the approved Food Handler Training Schools.

Lost card?: If within three 3 years, purchase a replacement card from the training school or retake a 3-hour training course and pass the exam again.


In addition to the County's food handler training requirement there is also a state requirement for a certified food safety manager. State law requires each food facility to have at least one owner/employee that has passed a state-approved food safety certification exam. Each certification is applicable to only one facility. These certificates are valid 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

Food Thermometer

Additional Resources

Requirements: San Diego County Code
Food Handler Training Schools List (Authorized)
Food Handler Booklet (English) (Updated 03/19/2021)
Food Handler Booklet (Español/Spanish) (Updated 03/19/2021)
Food Handler Booklet (中文/Chinese)
Food Handler Booklet (Việt/Vietnamese)


  (858) 505-6900