Illinois Food Handler Certification Online

May 20, 2020

Overview of Online Food Handler Training in Illinois

The Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act states that food handlers must receive training within 30 days of employment. Food handlers include staff who work with unpackaged food, equipment and utensils used in preparing food, and food contact surfaces. They may be employed in both restaurant and non-restaurant establishments. For a food handler certification to be valid in Illinois, the training course must be accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). There are a number of online training providers servicing the state of Illinois, such as eFoodHandlers, StateFoodSafety, ServSafe, and Premier Food Safety.

Food handler training consists of a short course on topics like cross-contamination, staff hygiene, sanitation, and kitchen protocol. Training providers typically grant any or all of these three documents as proof of training: card, certificate, and/or badge. These are valid for three years. The presentation of a food handler certificate, card, and/or badge is required during health and safety inspections.

Food Handler Certification Requirements

Food handler training may come in online, self-study, classroom, and one-on-one learning formats. For online courses, all steps are done completely online.

Information and Requirements

Obtaining the food handler certification is a straightforward process - applicants must purchase a training course, complete it, and pass the assessment test. Generally, courses are self-paced but can be finished in under two hours. The training is conducted using interactive software, text references, and audiovisual materials. Applicants typically need to score around 70% to pass the exam.

The learning materials, as well as provider support, can be accessed through PC or mobile platforms. Hardware specifications are usually available in the providers' websites for users to check the compatibility of their devices. The training courses can be purchased for at most $15.

Additional Requirements

Food handler training in Illinois is valid for three years. Before the renewal period, certificate holders must retake the training course and exam.

List of Organizations that Offer Online Training Courses for Food Handler Certification in Illinois

Online food handler courses offer the same training as onsite classes, as these courses are accredited by ANSI under the standard ASTM International E2659-09. While the delivery may differ across training providers, the courses cover all essentials topics, including proper time and temperature controls, sanitation and maintenance of the workplace, personal hygiene, prevention of food contamination, and foodborne pathogens.


eFoodHandlers offers its Illinois Food Handlers Card training in multimedia and text formats, with a six-part video series. The course runs for about an hour, but users may take a break after each chapter. Users have an unlimited number of takes for the exam, which has a passing score of 70%. After completing all requirements, users can get a certificate, wallet card, and badge. The course costs $7.95.


The StateFoodSafety food handler course is a 30-minute interactive audiovisual learning experience. The materials can be accessed on a PC, tablet, or phone for one year after purchase. For $10, users receive a food handler card after passing the exam with a score of 70%.


The ServSafe food handler course is delivered through text references with visual aids. It can be completed in under two hours. The course is valid for one year after purchase, but users have only 60 days to finish it once they begin. The exam can be retaken twice if the user does not achieve the 75% passing score. The course costs $15.

Premier Food Safety

The Premier Food Safety food handler course can also be completed within a few hours and costs $15. The learning materials are interactive. Once users pass the exam with a score of 70%, they receive a card and certificate as proof of their training.

Online food handler training in Illinois is quick and affordable. Food handlers must comply with only two requirements to receive their card or certification: to complete the training and to pass the exam.

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