• National Restaurant Association’s
    ServSafe® California Food Handler
    The ServSafe® California Food Handler Program complies with SB602 California food handler regulations.

    The state of California recently enacted SB602, a landmark in the history of food safety regulation. The new law requires all foodservice employees who prepare, store, or serve food at restaurants to earn a California Food Handler Card.

    As of July 1, 2011, food handlers in California are required to have a food handler card. A food handler is defined by law as a person who works in a food facility and performs any duties that involve the preparation, storage or service of food in a food facility.

    A California Food Handler card is valid for three years. Restaurant operators are required to maintain a record of current cards for each employee. Further, local health departments will be expected to enforce this law during routine inspections of food service establishments.

    Does a high school student working part-time at a fast-food restaurant require a card?


    If a high school student is interested in working in the restaurant business but doesn’t have a California Food Handler Card yet. Does it matter?

    It depends, State and County laws vary – some require a valid Food Handler Card before you start working. However, having a card before you apply may increase your chances of being hired and shows a willingness to practice proper food safety techniques.

    How does a student get a California Food Handler Card?

    A student can purchase the ServSafe Food Handler program on line or go through the restaurant program where he/she is employed. In addition, the ServSafe Food Handler Program will soon be offered at Valley and Saddleback High Schools for high school students in the Santa Ana Unified School District. Stay tuned for more information.