In this post, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Colorado Food Handlers Card. It includes specific state requirements, helpful resources, and other Colorado food safety laws that may come of your interest.
Is a Food Handlers Card Required in Colorado?
The state of Colorado does NOT require a basic food handlers card. This means that all Colorado food handlers (i.e. line cooks, food preps, servers, bussers, etc.) who prepare unpackaged food products to the public are off the hook – and don’t have to receive any state-approved food safety training.
But depending on your role in the food establishment you still may need to be food safety certified in one way or another. Feel free to skip ahead to the section “Colorado Food Safety Regulations” if you are food establishment manager or supervisor.
WARNING: After a simple “Colorado Food Handlers Card” search online, you’ll begin to notice a batch of food handler courses claiming that a Colorado food handlers card is required… and that they have a test for you. Please be aware that most of these sites are giving out false information. At the same time, they are trying to get you to pay for something that is not exactly required.
What is a Colorado Food Handlers Card?
The Colorado food handlers card, also known as a food handlers license and/or permit, is a certificate proving to employers and health inspectors alike that you are qualified to handle unpackaged food products that are served to the general public. The license is granted to those upon successful completion of a food safety course.
Some US states require it while others, like Colorado, do not. Keep in mind food establishment managers or owners may still require such certification to their employees despite state laws.
Colorado Food Handler License Benefits
So even though Colorado does not require a food handlers card… is it still worth getting one?
YES! Getting certified may still be in your best interest especially if you are looking for a job. A food handlers card can only boost your resume. And it will help propel you over the competition while on the job hunt.
By becoming certified in the safe handling of food with a food handlers license, you are proving to your future employer that you are serious about the food and drink industry and are someone that they should give a chance to.
How much does a Colorado food handlers card cost?
One great thing about food handlers cards is that they are VERY cheap. Often, you can get the card and complete a course for under $10.
Unfortunately though, cards often only last for 2-3 years.
Colorado Food Safety Regulations
What IS required in Colorado, is that at least one person in a state registered food establishment has received a Food Managers Certificate.
This means that one person on staff MUST have a Colorado Food Manager’s Certificate. This person will have to take a state-approved food safety course, pay a fee, and pass a quiz in order to become certified.
Colorado believes that a qualified Food Manager will have the skills to set a standard… and pass on their advanced food safety knowledge to other employees working in the establishment.
To learn more about the Colorado Food Managers Certificate, we suggest you contact the establishment owner or your local county health department.
How to get a Colorado Food Managers Certificate
1.) Select a Colorado state-approve course online
2.) Pay the fee. Food Manager Certificates usually around $50-$75
3.) Take the food safety training/course
4.) Pass the final examination (must score at least a 70%-80% depending on which course you choose)
5.) Once you’ve successfully completed the test you’ll get your official Colorado Food Managers certificate from the online course provider (not from the county)
6.) 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 you original copy.
7.) Provide your employer with a copy of your certificate
Keep in mind, Colorado Food Manager Certificates expire every five (5) years.
Other Requirements That May Be Helpful:
- Good Communication Skills
- Being able to stand long periods of time
- Knowledge of basic food safety
For more information, please contact the Colorado Department of Health on their website here.