Recently, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance to allow the usage of online food safety testing to meet its existing food handler card requirements. Additionally, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) will phase out its renewal exam service, making way for online renewals.
In San Diego County, a food handler must have a current food handler training certificate on file within 10 days of hire, which must be renewed every three years. To obtain the certificate, an employee must score a grade of 80% or higher on a proficiency test.
Online test providers – including the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Food Handler Card – are currently undergoing the approval process through the county to begin administering training and tests.
“It’s critical for restaurants in San Diego to urge their employees to seek our ServSafe specifically,” CRA President + CEO Jot Condie said. “Not only is it the gold standard for food safety training, it’s the only product out there developed by the industry, for the industry, to benefit the industry.”
The ServSafe product is expected to go live in San Diego in the coming weeks. Until then, operators can sign up to receive a 33% discount and notification when the course launches.
Operators are encouraged to take the following steps to be ready for the law change:
1. Sign up to receive a notice when ServSafe goes live.
2. Take an internal audit of HR files to identify any uncompliant workers, or any who are close to their renewal date.
3. Download the CRA’s toolkit of materials at www.calrest.org/foodhandler. Bilingual posters and fliers in English and Spanish, as well as web badges are available there.