Overview of Online Food Handler Certificate Training in New York
Compared to other U.S. states, New York is lenient with its requirements for food service workers. Only owners and operators of food establishments are required to undergo training and be certified as food safety/protection managers. However, there are a number of counties in New York that require food handler training, such as Westchester, Tioga, Livingston, Monroe, and Chautauqua. While it is not a strict requirement in the other counties, it is recommended because food safety is still a primary concern for consumers. The New York State Department of Health does not specify a period within which the training should be completed; instead, the directive should be given by the supervisors or the county health department.
Online food handler courses are open to everyone. Recognized training providers include 360training, eFoodHandlers, and StateFoodSafety. The training is brief, focusing only on important food handling topics like hygiene, sanitation, appropriate food preparation protocol, and foodborne illnesses. After completing the training, the applicants receive a card or certificate that is valid for two to three years.
Food Handler Certificate Requirements
Although food handler training is offered in many formats, online courses were developed meticulously to cater to food handlers' busy schedules. All steps, from purchasing the course to obtaining a copy of the certificate, are done online.
Information and Requirements
Even though online courses are readily available, applicants must ensure that online training is accepted in their respective counties. It is best to check the requirements of the local health department first. Courses are 30 minutes to two hours long but can be taken at the user's pace. To maximize learning, lessons are delivered through both audiovisual and text formats, with interactive quizzes after a module or chapter. Typically, users are given up to one year to access the course materials and, after completing the course, they must pass the exam.
Depending on the training provider, the course materials can be accessed on a PC, tablet, or mobile device. A list of system requirements is usually available in the providers' websites so users can easily check the compatibility of their devices. The courses can be purchased for not more than $10.
In New York, food handler training is typically valid for three years. Certificate holders must retake both the course and exam to renew their food handler cards and certificates.
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Training providers must ensure that their learning materials and study guides are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and, therefore, comply with ASTM e2659 standards. These courses teach users to be aware of food pathogens and foodborne illnesses, to practice proper hygiene, to maintain the workplace, and to properly prepare and serve food.
360 Training is one of the major training providers in food service across the U.S. Its Learn2Serve program includes two hours' worth of learning materials that vary from interactive Flash presentations to informative PDF study guides, all of which cost $10. To obtain the food handler certificate, users must complete the lessons and score at least 70% in the exam. The course is accessible for one year after purchase and the exam can be retaken once; should the user fail to reach the passing score again, he or she needs to retake the course. The Learn2Serve food handler certificate is valid for three years.
The New York Food Handler Training Program from eFoodHandlers runs for an average duration of 75 minutes and is divided into six videos. The training is delivered through interactive, multimedia, and text-based materials. Users must complete the course and pass the exam by scoring 70% to obtain the proof of training, which comes in three formats: a certificate, wallet card, and badge. The course costs $10 and must be completed within three months. The eFoodHandler training is valid for three years.
StateFoodSafety offers one of the shortest food handler courses, with a length of 30 minutes. The New York Demonstration of Knowledge Food Safety Training is an interactive course with audiovisual and text guides. The user receives a card and certificate after passing the exam (70% score). The food safety card is valid for three years. The course costs $10.
Although New York is lenient with its food handler requirements, training is still recommended. Applicants need only to complete a course, which takes up to two hours, and pass the exam to obtain their food handler card or certificate.