There is no requirement for employees that work in a kitchen to receive a basic food handlers permit in the state of Connecticut.
Please keep in mind though, that some employers or restaurant managers will require a food handlers permit regardless of state mandate.
The state of Connecticut believes that management should train their employees. Therefore, only persons in charge or “shift-leads” MUST become a certified food manager, also known as a Qualified Food Operator (see page 41). See below for additional details.
Many states around the country are very strict when it comes to food handler training, but that’s not the case in the state of Connecticut.
⚠️ IMPORTANT: Many online sources and course providers claim that Connecticut requires food handler permits for all employees. This information is false, and most of the time, the courses are trying to get you to purchase something not necessarily needed.
What is a CT food handlers permit?
The Connecticut food handlers permit, also known as a license or card, is a certificate proving to employers and health inspectors that you are qualified to handle unpackaged food products that are served to the general public. You will receive the permit upon successful completion of a food safety course. Again, although not required, if you decide that you would like to further your food handling skills to make you stand out as an employee, you can still get trained as a food handler.
Connecticut Qualified Food Operator (QFO)
Although Connecticut does not require employees to receive food handlers cards, they do require that every registered food establishment MUST have at least one Qualified Food Operator on staff.
The Connecticut Qualified Food Operator (QFO), also known as a Food Protection Manager, is a food operator employed in a full-time position who has demonstrated knowledge of safe food handling techniques. In order to become a QFO, you must take a state approved food safety course and successfully pass the test.
Note: Full-time position means 30 hours per week…
So although a Connecticut food handlers permit isn’t required for employees, it still may be in your best interest to receive and pass the test for Food Managers/ Qualified Food Operators.
Not only will this help you during your job application, but it will make you a more well rounded employee.
Currently, only the below list of Qualified Food Operator exams are VALID according to Connecticut’s Department of Public Health:
- ServSafe® The Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association (NRA)
- Phone: 1-800-765-2122
- Website: www.nraef.org
- Thomson Prometric (formerly Experior Assements, National Assessment Institute, Chauncey, and Educational Testing Service)
- Phone: 1-800-624-2736
- Website: https://www.prometric.com/
- National Registry of Food Safety Professionals/Environmental Health Testing
- Phone: 1-800-446-0257
- Website: www.NRFSP.com
- 360training- Learn2Serve
- Phone: 877-881-2235
- Website: http://www.360training.com
For more information, please contact your local Health Department.