Food Safety

StreetFoodIconMid2This page will have information on the San Diego County Foodhandler Program. Remember that many of the people you are serving have compromised immune systems. It is important that you know how to prepare and distribute food in a way that will do no harm to them.

The Board of Supervisors recently approved changes to the Foodhandler Program.



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.

To find an upcoming food handler class, please contact the food handler training school directly.


Food handler cards are valid for 3 years. To renew your card, you must complete a full 3 hour training course and pass an exam provided by one of our approved food handler training school. If you lose your card during the 3 years since you passed the exam, you must contact the training school to purchase a replacement card (your expiration date will still reflect your initial exam passing date), or you must retake a full 3 hour training course and pass the exam again to be issued a new food handler card. Should you have any questions, please contact our department (858) 505-6900.

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.

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