There are no Maryland food handlers permit requirements for common restaurant employees according to current Maryland food safety regulations.
What the state of Maryland does require though, is that at least one person in an establishment receives a Food Manager’s Certificate, also known as a Certified Food Protection Managers (CFPM) card.
🚨Important: Searching online for Maryland food handlers permit requirements will lead to multiple sites claiming that you must have one, and that they have the test for you to take. Most of the websites are incorrect. And are trying to get you to pay for something that you do NOT necessarily need. Although some US states require everyone in the food facility to receive a food handlers permit, Marylands’ food safety laws are relatively lenient.
The state of Maryland believes that if one person in a restaurant certifies as a Food Manager then they will be able to pass their knowledge of food safety on to the other employees in the restaurant.
So although you may not be required to receive a Maryland food handlers permit or a food manager’s certificate, there are a few reasons why you still may want to be certified.
What is the Maryland Food Handlers Permit?
The Maryland food handlers permit, also known as the Maryland food handlers card and/or license, is a certificate proving to employers and public health inspectors alike that you are qualified to handle unpackaged food products served to the general public. Although the state doesn’t require the Maryland food handlers permit, some restaurant mangers and owners may still make it mandatory in order to receive employment.
Maryland Food Managers Certification
Maryland requires licensed retail food facilities to have at least one certified food manager on staff. And some counties requires at least one certified food manager on-premises during all hours of operation. A Maryland Certified Food Manager is the person in charge when present and they must be accessible by phone, text, and email when not physically present during operation.
In order to receive a food managers certificate, one must take a state-approved food safety course for managers… and successfully pass their test.
Maryland currently recognizes and accepts certifications from the following National ANSI Certified Food Manager programs:
- 360Training.com, Inc.
- National Registry of Food Safety Professionals
- National Restaurant Association
- Prometrics Inc.
Keep in mind, local county health departments are the regulatory body that oversees all food safety laws. And each county’s regulations may vary or evolve over the years.
Thus, it’s important to ALWAYS double check with your local health department on Maryland food handling requirements, in addition to other retail food establishment specifics. You can find a list of all Maryland county health departments HERE. 🙂
Other Requirements That May Be Helpful:
- Good Communication Skills
- Being able to stand long periods of time
- Knowledge of basic food safety
- Baltimore County Certified Food Service Manager Program
- Washington DC NOTICE REGARDING CERTIFIED FOOD MANAGER IDENTIFICATION CARDS (May 2018; pdf)
- Montgomery County Food Facilities Licensing
- Price George’s County Food Service Manager Certification
- Maryland Department of Health
- Maryland HACCP Plan