Obtaining an Alaska food handlers card can be a very confusing process. Does the state require it?… Do I have to get a food handlers card if I work for a restaurant in Anchorage? …Which kitchen employees are required to receive training?
If you have similar questions, we’ve got good news…
We’re here to make the process simple.
And instead of surfing government websites that are way out of date, we’re here to tell you all the important, updated, and ACCURATE information pertaining to food handlers across the great state of Alaska.
Apron up, let’s dive in.
How to Receive a food handlers card in Alaska
All food workers in Alaska are REQUIRED to receive the state-approved food handlers card. Although most states in the nation don’t have this requirement, Alaska’s food and safety laws are a little more strict.
Alaska requires each food worker to obtain a card within 30 days of employment.
Once a food worker successfully passes the Alaska food handlers exam, they will then be granted an official food handlers card.
The card will expire after 3 years from the date of issuance.
All food handler cards from other states and/or online course providers are not valid in the state of Alaska. This means you must get your food handlers card from one source, and one source only (see below).
Keep in mind, Alaska also enforces a Certified Food Protection Managers (CFPM) card… but it’s specifically for restaurant supervisory positions.
If you are a supervisor looking to get a CFPM card in the state of Alaska, just click here for more information. There has to be at least one Certified Food Manager per restaurant and potentially one onsite per shift, depending on how large the restaurant is.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Municipality of Anchorage, on the other hand, has the right to pose its own food safety laws on registered food establishments.
Simply put, Anchorage plays by its own rules. If you’re a food worker in Anchorage, please scroll down to our dedicated MOA section as food handler requirements and details differ from the state’s.
For now, we’ll be taking a deep dive into all the steps, training, and details for state-wide Alaska food workers who are not within Anchorage city limits.
What type of employees are considered a food handler in Alaska?
By Alaska state law, any employee working for a restaurant, that deals directly with unpackaged food product(s) is considered a food handler.
Here’s the definition of food handler, courtesy of Alaska’s Division of Environmental Health:
“Alaska Food Worker:
Anyone who works with unpackaged foods, potentially hazardous food or food-contact surfaces.“
This means that all employees who are directly involved in the storage, preparation, or service of unpackaged foods is a food handler. Simply put, nearly everyone in a food facility and/or restaurant will need a food handlers card in Alaska.
Many times, restaurant owners will even require the host or hostess to receive training!
And if someone working in a facility is not a food handler on a regular basis, but fills in as a food handler when needed, they will most likely need a food handlers card as well.
To break it down even further, here’s a list of restaurant job titles that REQUIRE food handlers training in Alaska:
**If you already have a Certified Food Protection Managers (CFPM) card, you are not required to receive a food handlers card.
Who does NOT need a food handlers card in Alaska?
Folks that do NOT need to receive the Alaska food handlers card are:
If you work in a non-restaurant facility (nursing homes, hospitals, schools, retail food stores, etc.) in Alaska but directly work with unpackaged food products, you may STILL be required to receive a food handlers card. If you are unsure, please be sure to double check with your employer or manager.
Where to Get Your Alaska Food Handlers Card: Training & Course Providers
⚠️ IMPORTANT ⚠️: The state of Alaska ONLY accepts food handler cards from their internal, state-approved course provider. This state certified course provider can be found at https://dec.alaska.gov/applications/eh/fwcopatest
All other food handler cards – even if you successfully complete their training and exams – are deemed unacceptable by Alaska state law.
There are multiple course providers online that seem legit, claiming they are Alaska certified so be extra cautious. Most course providers online posing as an Alaska food handler card courses are FAKE!
Remember to always check URLs and make sure you’re on the right landing page. The correct Alaska Food Handlers Card site looks like the screenshots below:
Steps & Instructions for getting an Alaska Food Handlers Card:
The process of obtaining an Alaska food handlers card is easier than it looks. For your convenience, we’ve shared all the steps you need to take to quickly earn your card.
Step 1: Register for a myAlaska account
You must create an account on the state’s website. Simply provide myAlaska with a custom username, password, and secret question. You will also have to provide an email address.
Step 2: Log into your new myAlaska account and purchase a TEST ID
Food workers will be required to pay a $10 fee in order to take the test. Just looks for a blue button that says “Click to Purchase Test IDs.”
Step 3: Save Your Test ID and Invoice number
Saving your ID and INVOICE numbers are very important. You will have to provide these numbers in order to take the final exam… and if you ever need to issue a replacement card.
Step 4: Study for your test 🙂
Feel free to jump straight to the practice test! Most people jump straight to the testing as you can take the test as many time as you wish, at no additional cost.
Step 5: Take the test
Take the Alaska Food Handlers Test by simply entering your TEST ID that was given on Step 2.
Step 6: Print your card
Once you have successfully passed your test, you will have access to printing functionalities. Looks for a green button that says “Click to Print Food Worker Card.” After that, provide your TEST ID from step 2 once again.
Step 7: Print out multiple copies of your card!
Print out multiple copies of your certification or save the file to your desktop at home. This is just a safety measure, just in case you lose a copy of your food handlers card.
Step 8: Provide your employer with a copy of your Alaska food handlers card
Many sources say that the Alaska Food Handlers test is relatively easy. The test consists of ONLY 20 multiple-choice questions. And you must get 15 of them correct otherwise you will have to take the test over again.
All test questions come from a random pool of questions designed by the state’s Environmental Health Department. In fact, you’ll see some questions that are identical to the questions practice test.
If you do NOT pass the test on your first attempt, don’t worry! You may take the test over as many times as you’d like.
How Much Does the Alaska Food Handler Card Cost?
The official Alaska Food Handlers Card only costs $10. Additionally, it will cost $10 to renew your card, which expires every three (3) years.
Is Your Food Handlers Card Expired or Lost?
If you lost your Alaska food handlers card, you can to log back into your myAlaska account using the same username, password, and TEST ID. Printing options will be available in the myAlaska course portal.
In Alaska, your food handlers card expires 3 years after the date of issuance. To renew your card, you must purchase another TEST ID, and pass the state’s test all over again!
This ensures that everyone in the great state of Alaska stays up to date with proper food safety procedures.
Other Requirements That May Be Helpful:
- Good Communication Skills
- Being able to stand long periods of time
- Knowledge of basic food safety
If you still have unanswered questions, feel free to call the department directly at 907-376-2849 or let us know what we missed in the comment section below.
Municipality of Anchorage Food Handler Card
All food workers in Anchorage MUST receive a food handlers card within the first 30 days of employment.
All requirements are essentially the same as the state’s (shown in the sections above). The main difference between the state’s food handlers card and the Anchorage food handlers card is the course and card provider.
The Anchorage food handlers card and course is provided via the TAP series online (our recommendation).
All Anchorage Food Handler cards expire every three years.