There’s not a whole lot of information online that breaks down what a Nebraska food handlers permit is… and whether it is required state-wide or not.
And if there is any information, it’s extremely hard to find. There are way too many government websites that are out of date… on top of a bunch of deceiving food safety courses if you ask us.
So we personally reached out to the Nebraska State Department of Agriculture to get specific details.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Nebraska food handlers permit including requirements, state-wide laws, course providers, details, and more.
Let’s hope this post helps clear up some of the confusion! So apron up, let’s get to it. 🌽
How to get a Food Handlers Permit in Nebraska
The state of Nebraska does NOT require typical food workers i.e. line cooks, food runners, food preps, etc. at a food facility and/or restaurant to receive a food handlers permit. Although some states nationwide have this requirement, Nebraska’s food safety laws are a little less strict.
The only food handlers requirement the state of Nebraska enforces is specifically for restaurant managers and other supervisory positions.
If you are a supervisor in a restaurant or non-retail food service establishment in the state of Nebraska, most likely you will be REQUIRED to take a state-approved Food Managers course.
According to Nebraska state law, at least one person with a Food Managers certification MUST be present, at the facility, at all times.
Important: Keep in mind, some counties have different names for this (i.e. Food Protection Card, Food Managers Certification, etc.). Additionally, your local county is responsible for Food Safety regulations. Food Handler/Manager training, courses, and costs vary depending on which county you are in and which course you take.
This means the only people the state REQUIRES to receive any sort of food protection / food safety training are kitchen or restaurant managers and supervisors.
This state-wide law ensures that every food facility in the state has a supervisor and/or manager that is qualified in food safety practices… and has an advanced knowledge of food handling procedures.
Counties, on the other hand, have the right to establish their own food safety laws. This means that Nebraska counties can require ALL food workers to receive a food handlers card/permit. But in Nebraska, there’s only one county that plays by their own rules: Lincoln-Lancaster County.
If you work as a food handler for a restaurant or food facility in Lancaster County, you will be REQUIRED to receive county-approved food handlers training. More details on the county’s requirements are shown below.
We just covered a lot, so to recap, here are the main Nebraska food handler permit requirements:
- Your typical kitchen employee (server, line cooks, food prep, busers, dishwashers, etc.) does NOT need a Nebraska food handlers permit unless you are located Lincoln-Lancaster county.
- Most supervisory positions (head chefs, kitchen/restaurant managers) in New York MUST obtain a county-approved Food Managers card.
- To receive a Food Managers card, double check with your county health department on specifics.
- Someone with a Food Managers card must be present, at the food facility, at all times.
Where to Receive a Food Managers Card in Nebraska
To receive a food managers card, please contact your local county’s Environmental Public Health Department or check with your employer.
Although many online sources have a food managers course, it’s always smart to double check with your local municipality on what they require. Nebraska food manager courses vary county to county. And some counties may have their own food safety course that is provided with no cost!
The last thing you want is to take a Food Managers course and then realize you took the wrong one… or worse, pay for a course you didn’t need to pay for!
FHC pro tip: If there’s no county specific food managers course, we always suggest to kitchen managers and supervisors to ask another manager or restaurant owner on which food manager course they prefer.
Those in the field of work will always know best, and sometimes they’re easier to get a hold of than your local county clerk.
Lincoln-Lancaster County Food Handlers Permit
ALL employees of registered food establishments must have LLCHD (Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department) issued food handler or manager permit. The county’s required Food Safety Program provides food handler/manager education and permitting.
We know what you’re thinking…
How much does the food handlers permit cost?
But don’t worry.
In Lincoln-Lancaster county, all food handler permits are FREE of charge. You can take the training and examination online or in-person.
⚠️ ⚠️ Please be sure to get your Nebraska food handlers permits via the links provided above. Although many online course providers claim they are state-approved, most are not… and almost all will require you to pay for their course when in reality, the county-approved program is free and ONLY provided by the county.
What type of employees are considered a food handler in Lincoln Nebraska? Simply put, it doesn’t matter. ALL restaurant employees, even the dishwashers, will be required to receive the permit.
Nebraska Food Handlers Permit Benefits
So what if you’re not a supervisor or manager… and you don’t work in Lincoln-Lancaster County… is it still worth getting a food handlers permit?
Even if the state does not require food workers to receive a Nebraska food handlers permit, it may still be in your best interest to become certified.
As a food worker who is on the hunt for a job, anything you can do to strengthen your resume is worth it.
By becoming certified in the safe handling of food with a food handlers license, you are proving to your future employer that you are serious about the food and drink industry and are someone that they should give a chance to.
How much does a Nebraska food handlers card cost?
A great perk about food handlers cards is that they are VERY cheap. Often, you can get the card and complete a course online for under $10.
There is a bit of a catch however, as cards generally only last for 2-3 years.
Here at Food Handlers Card Help we generally suggest that all kitchen employees should become food handler certified regardless of state requirements.
If this piqued your interest, we often suggest getting certified via 360 Training. The course is pretty quick, and the test is reasonably easy. With 360 Training, you can have a food handlers card in less than 2 hours.
Plus, for under $10, the benefits significantly outweigh the costs in regards to the amount of credibility that a food handlers card lends your resume.
Links & Resources
- For additional information on food handler laws in general, please visit our homepage
- Click here to visit the Nebraska Food Handler page
- Other Nebraska Food Establishment Requirements
- Safe Food Handler practices and conditions for Nebraska
- Nebraska Food Code (pdf)