California Food Handlers Card Law

Spartan Shops, Inc. is a non-profit commercial auxiliary, Campus Benefit organization committed to providing commercial services for San Jose State University. One of the primary services we provide is Dining Services across campus. Spartan Shops must uphold the CA Food Handler Card Law, SB 602 enacted into law in 2010, Health & Safety Code 113790 et seq. If you are hired to work in any of our dining facilities you will be required to take and pass a food safety training course with a score of 70% or higher.

Food handlers are defined as individuals involved in the preparation, storage or service of food in a food facility. This includes but is not limited to wait staff, chefs, head cooks, cooks, bussers, bartenders, host/hostesses that handle food, beverage pourers, and supervisory personnel, such as the general manager or managers, unless they are certified under the existing food managers certification program – ServSafe. If you stock prepackaged, non-potentially hazardous foods, or are handling food items, such as hand-stocking shelves and are employed at a non-exempt food facility (e.g. restaurant, deli food facility, or food court) then you are required to have a food handler card.

The law applies to both salaried and hourly food handlers, even if you work part-time, (e.g. one day/week) or are a temporary employee, (e.g. employed for two months) and regardless of your age.

The CA Food Handler Card Law states that food handler training courses and tests may be offered through a trainer-led class and test, or online. Currently the three organizations who can issue valid food handler cards are:

Once the food handler card is issued it is valid for three years. The law requires employers to maintain all valid food handler cards on site. Failure to maintain records that all food handlers meet the requirements of the Food Handler Law would constitute a violation of the law. Once you create a profile, there is a $15 test fee. It is the employee's responsibility to register, purchase and pass the Food Handler's Certification. Therefore you must bring your food handler card in and a copy will be maintained at the unit in which you work. Food handlers hired on or after June 1, 2011, must obtain a valid food handler card within 30 days after the hire date. Contact your manager for instructions on the food handler test.