The Department of Health for the state of Hawaii only requires a minimum of ONE person on site during hours of operation to have a Hawaii Food Handlers Card.
Currently, the state does not enforce all employees in the kitchen to be certified.
Hawaii’s food handler rule is statewide, meaning that all islands MUST have a certified food handler on site during operation. 🌸
What is the Hawaii Food Handers Card?
The Hawaii food handlers card is a certificate that proves to your employer and health inspectors that you are qualified to handle food safely in the state of Hawaii. Once you successfully passes a food safety course, you are eligible to receive a food handlers card. Most food handler licenses will typically last 2-3 years.
Who is considered a Food Handler in the state of Hawaii?
Anyone who is going to be working directly with the food or any of the food contact surfaces. Again though, because Hawaii only requires one (1) person on premises to have a food handlers card, you may not be required to have one even if you are considered a food handler.
Are there any restrictions?
There are no restrictions on someone receiving their Food Handler certification. If they are able to go through the course and pass the test, they can become certified.
⚠️ It is important to keep in mind though, that some employers or restaurant managers will require all food handlers to complete training regardless of Hawaii’s fairly lenient state laws.
One last warning: Please be aware that many online food safety course providers claim that the state of Hawaii requires food handler cards for EVERYONE. This is faulty information. Sure, the food handlers license may boost your resume while looking for a job… but remember, it’s not necessarily needed. And it highly depends on the restaurant or kitchen you’re working at. Whatever the case may be, it still may not be in your best interest paying for a course, so be weary of these online courses trying to sell you.
How to Get a Food Handlers Card in Hawaii
- Pick an ANSI-accredited course by clicking here. All courses on this list are state-approved and are considered valid by all health inspectors statewide.
- After you choose your course, you will then have to pay a small fee ranging between $5-$10.
- Take the course/ training. (Online courses usually last only 2 hours)
- Pass the final examination. (Depending on which course you take, you will have to pass the final exam with a score of 70%-80% at minimum)
- Once you’ve successfully completed the test you’ll get a certificate from the online course provider.
- 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 Hawaii food handlers card.
- Provide your employer with a copy of your certificate.
In addition to the ANSI online courses, Hawaii’s Department of Health also hosts their own course, free of charge. These courses, however, are not online… and are held at your local Health Department. The free Hawaii Food Safety Course Certification, which meets the state food handlers card requirement, expires every three (3) years.
If you wish to save some money, and take the free course, please click choose your island/county from the list below:
For more information on Hawaii’s free Food Safety Education course, simply click here.
Additional Hawaii Food Handler Requirements
Aside from the food handlers card, another certification the state of Hawaii requires is specifically for food managers. These are typically shift leaders, aka Persons-in-charge (PIC).
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 visit the Official site of Hawaii’s Sanitation Branch