After a quick google search – you’ll find that it’s very difficult to find information on the New Jersey Food Handlers License… including what are the specific state requirements.
So we decided to do some digging…
In this post, you’ll find all the information you need about the NJ food handlers license, how to get a NJ food handlers license, and whether your county or city in NJ requires it.
Let’s dive in. 🍕
Note: Living in New Jersey but work for a restaurant in New York or NYC? Click here to learn to more about New York’s food handler requirements.
New Jersey Food Handler Requirements
The state of New Jersey does NOT require food handlers working at registered NJ food establishment to receive a food handlers license. Even though some states nationwide have this requirement, New Jersey’s food safety laws are a little more lenient.
Important: County health departments are in charge of food safety regulations. So although the state of NJ does NOT require food handler licenses for everyone working in the food establishment, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook just yet.
Some counties in New Jersey do indeed REQUIRE a NJ food handlers license for common kitchen employees (i.e. line cooks, food preps, servers, bussers, etc.). That’s what makes this whole thing a bit confusing. Luckily for you, we list what cities require a NJ food handlers license in the sections below. Feel free to skip ahead if that’s what you’re here for.
What is a NJ food handlers license?
The New Jersey food handlers license, also known as a food handlers permit or card, 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.
The only food handlers requirement the state of New Jersey enforces is specifically for restaurant managers and other supervisory positions… or shift-leads also known as the Person-In-Charge (PIC).
According to New Jersey state law, at least one person with a Food Managers certification MUST have be on staff . We suggest you contact your employer or your local county health department to learn more about Food Manager Cards.
Food Handlers Card NJ: COUNTY Requirements:
The only cities that REQUIRE food handler licenses in NJ are:
- Newark City
- Select cities in Bergen County**
Continue reading for more information on each jurisdiction.
Food Handlers License Newark NJ
Who must obtain a Food Handlers License in Newark New Jersey?
All kitchen employees who handle unpackaged food products served to the public MUST obtain a Newark Food Handlers license within 30 days of employment.
This means you must take a city-approved food safety course, pay its fee, and successfully pass the examination. Once you complete the exam, you will be granted an official Newark food handlers card. Just print out the certification or get a copy of it, and provide it to your employer.
What will you be learning in the course/ training?
The City of Newark Food and Drug Bureau training covers the causes & prevention of food poisoning, time & temperature controls, cross contamination, cleaning & sanitizing and pest control.
Where do you take the Newark Food Handlers Course?
The city of Newark offers both online and offline course options. Only the following courses are valid in the city of Newark. All other food handler certificates will not be accepted by local health inspectors:
- City of Newark Department of Health (CLASSROOM)
94 Williams Street | For the class schedule call: (973) 733-3734
- National Registry of Food Safety Professionals (ONLINE)
- ServSafe – Educational Foundation NRA (ONLINE)
- Thompson Prometric (ONLINE)
How much does the Newark food handlers course cost?
Online Newark Food Handler course prices will vary. Typically, food handler courses will cost around $10-$15. If you choose to take the course offline, at the City of Newark Health Department, the fee is only $10.
Food Handlers License Bergen County NJ
Only select cities in Bergen County REQUIRE common food handlers to receive a Bergen county food handlers permit. Some cities in Bergen County don’t require it at all… some only require one person on each shift to require a license… while others require everyone in the kitchen to have one.
Click here to select your city, and give your local health department a call to get the specifics.
Bergen County does offer offline food safety programs at the county health department. To view the course schedule, just click here.
How to Get a Food Handlers License in New Jersey
- Check with your local health department if they actually require a NJ food handlers license or not. Keep in mind, some employers may require food handlers training despite the lenient NJ food safety laws.
- Select a course online, pay the fee, take the training and examination
- 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 you original NJ food handlers license
- Provide your employer with a copy of your certificate
Remember, although NJ does NOT REQUIRE food handler training for all food handlers in the state, it is ultimately up to your local health department. For more information on New Jersey food handlers licenses, it’s best to contact your local health department for more information.