In the state of Arizona, getting a food handlers card (also known as a food employee certification) can be a very confusing process.
Thats where we come in…
We plan to get you in the restaurant as soon as possible. Don’t bother looking through various outdated government or state websites. Here, you’ll find all of the important information needed to jumpstart your career in the food services industry.
How to Get a Food Handlers Card in Arizona
In the state of Arizona, nearly ALL counties require employees (part-time, temporary, or full-time) working in a state-registered food establishment to obtain a food handlers card. Although some states in the U.S. don’t have this requirement, Arizona’s state-wide food and safety laws are a little more strict than most.
Important Note: To determine whether or not your county in Arizona requires a food handlers card, please refer to the next section titled County-by-County: Arizona Food Handler Card Requirements below.
Most food-related service employees in the state of Arizona MUST complete a state and/or county approved food safety course. After successful completion of the course, you will then be granted a food handlers card by the course provider.
All new Arizona food handler employees are given 30 days from the date of hire to receive and posses a food handlers card. For an example of what that certification will look like at the end of the day, click here (pdf).
It’s also important to keep in mind that all AZ food employee certifications expire three years from the issue date!
The following counties in Arizona require food related employees to receive food handlers training from an ANSI-accredited organization. ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institution. Pretty fancy, yeah?
- Coconino County
- Gila County
- Greenlee County
- La Paz County
- Maricopa County
- Mohave County
- Pinal County
- Santa Cruz County
- Yavapai County
- Yuma County
** For our personal favorite ANSI-accredited organizations, please refer to our section “Where to Get Your Arizona Food Handler Card: Training & Course Providers” provided below.
The following counties in Arizona require a county-issued food handlers card. For the county-specific food handler training requirements, opportunities, and details, please click on the county you are associated with below:
** Although these counties require county-specific food handlers training, some may accept any generic ANSI-accredited courses (see below) as well. So it’s always important to double-check with your local clerk’s office or restaurant manager.
The following counties in Arizona DO NOT require a food handlers card:
- Apache County
- Cochise County
- Graham County
- Navajo County
- Pima County
** Remember, regardless of county requirements, employers and managers may still require food handlers training for employees. As mentioned above, Arizona takes food safety very seriously compared to other states.
Where to Get Your Arizona Food Handler Card: Training & Course Providers
For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of the top ANSI-accredited food handler certification programs.
For the complete list of Arizona food handler training providers, simply click here
Steps to get an Arizona Food Handlers Card (aka Food Employee Certificate)
- Choose one of the above ANSI-accredited online providers (We recommend asking the person in charge of the food service business which training(s) they accept/prefer)
- Take the training and test online (details below)
- Once you’ve successfully completed the test you’ll get a certificate from the online provider (not from the county)
- 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 your original AZ food handlers certificate
- Provide your employer with a copy of your certificate
Almost all Arizona food handler certification programs are available online… and are readily accessible through many sources.
The training and course itself can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to complete. But they can indeed take longer if you wish to study and review important information in order to be better prepared for the final exam.
The training/course is followed by a 40-question multiple-choice quiz on all things food preparation and safety. In order to successfully pass the Arizona food handlers quiz (also known as the food handler assessment), students must answer AT LEAST 30 questions correctly. This means you must get a 75% in order to pass!
Please keep in mind, grade requirements vary depending on which test you take. Most AZ food safety tests require a 70-80% at the minimum.
Are you nervous yet? Well, don’t be. Most Arizona food safety courses allow you to take the quiz twice. In fact, training providers like ServSafe allow you to take the quiz over as many times as you’d like. (Also, be sure to take advantage of the practice exams we provided in the section below. Practice makes perfect!)
How much does the Arizona Food Handlers Card cost?
Online food safety courses in Arizona range anywhere between $5-10. If you are taking a food safety course that costs more than $10, we strongly urge you to reconsider as there are cheaper options out there.
Arizona Food Handlers Practice Tests
For your convenience, we’ve put together the best Arizona food handlers card practice tests. We’ve heard from many sources that these tests nearly replicate the questions that you’ll be receiving on the final exam!
Is Your AZ Food Handlers Card Expired or Lost?
If you lost your Arizona food handlers card, simply contact your course provider and ask for a copy. Always remember to create duplicate copies of your food handlers card.
In Arizona, your food handlers card expires 3 years after it is issued. To renew your Arizona food handlers card, you must sign up for another state-approved food safety course and pass their test all over again! This ensures that everyone in the state of Arizona is refreshed and up to date with proper food safety procedures.
Minimum Age Required to Handle Food in the State of Arizona:
- We believe most food handler courses require a participant to be at least 13 years of age in order to take their course but that is not a rule the food code addresses.
State of Arizona Food Handler Qualifications:
- There are no restrictions for individuals to receive food handler cards in the state of Arizona.
- Employees should be kept from working directly with food if they have specific symptoms or diagnosed illnesses. In this case it would be best for you to consult with your medical provider.
Other Requirements That May Be Helpful:
- Driver’s License and/or Passport
- Good Communication Skills
- Being able to stand long periods of time
- Knowledge of basic food safety
For more information, please contact your Local City Clerk’s office.