There is no Massachusetts food handler certification requirement for common restaurant employees according to current Massachusetts food safety regulations.
🚨 Important: Searching online for the Massachusetts food handler certification 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, Massachusetts’s food safety laws are relatively lenient.
What the state of Massachusetts does require though, is that at least one person in an establishment receives a Food Manager’s Certificate, also known as the Certified Food Protection Managers (CFPM) card.
The state of Massachusetts believes that an individual that has passed a Food Manager test has the capability to pass down their knowledge to other employees in the establishment.
So although you may not be required to receive a Massachusetts food handler certification or a food manager’s certificate, there are a few reasons why you still may want to be certified.
What is the Massachusetts Food Handlers Certificate?
The Massachusetts food handler certificate proves to employers, employees, and health inspectors that you are duly qualified to not only handle food safely, but to also pass your knowledge onto other employees.
Although the state doesn’t require the Massachusetts food handler permit, some restaurant managers and owners may still make it mandatory in order to receive employment.
Food Manager Certification Requirements
Massachusetts requires licensed retail food facilities to have at least one certified food manager on staff. Some counties actually even require at least one certified food manager on-premises during all hours of operation.
In order to receive a food managers certificate, one must:
- Take a state-approved food safety course (see below for courses)
- Pay the course fee
- Successfully pass their test
Massachusetts 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.
According to the state’s Massachusetts Food Protection Manager Certification Exam and Trainer Directory (DOCX 53.78 KB), certificates expire every 5 years.
It’s ALWAYS important to double check with your local health department on Massachusetts food handling requirements. You can find a list of all Massachusetts county health departments HERE.