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Topics in Food Safety
 
Food Workers

As food workers, you have an important role in food safety. Washington State law requires you to be trained in food safety and to pass a test that shows you understand how to keep food safe. A Washington State Food Worker Card is valid in all of Washington State counties.

Whatcom County Health Department is now offering the convenience of online food worker training and testing.

Get your Food Worker Card online:

You can now get your Food Worker card (aka - Food Handler card) online. Go through the training, take the test, pay with a credit card and get your card at your convenience. The training and test is offered in English, Cambodian, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese and Closed Caption.

Beware of unapproved web sites offering the Washington State Food Worker Test!
Our office has been made aware of at least two web sites that promote food worker training, charge a fee and offer a “food worker card”.  These web sites can be identified by the ".com" in the web address. Even though their study information is very similar to what we recognize in current training programs statewide, these cards are NOT VALID IN WASHINGTON STATE as they are not issued per food code by a health officer. The correct website is www.foodworkercard.wa.gov.

Before you get started with the online training:

  • Make sure you are connected to a working printer. You will be printing your own card when you have completed the training and test.
  • The cost of the class is $10.00 - Payment options are as follows:
    • You can pay by VISA, MasterCard or Discover Card and debit cards with the VISA or MasterCard logo. Payment will be required after you have passed the test. You cannot make arrangements to pay later with a credit card. NOTE: The charges for the food worker card will be listed under Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department on your monthly bank or billing statement.

    • If you wish to pay by cash or money order, you will need to come in to our office within 5 days of passing the test.

  • Turn off your pop-up blocker. The pop-up blocker may cause problems while signing on to the website. The pop-up blocker control can usually be found under "Tools" on your browser menu bar.
  • Give yourself about an hour to complete the training and test.

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Frequently Asked Questions for online Food Worker Training:

Q: Who do I contact if I have a problem with the online class?

A: If you are having a problem you can call (360) 676-6724. Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. You can also email us at foodworker@whatcomcounty.us. When sending an email, please include:

  • Your full name;
  • Phone number and/or email address;
  • A description of the problem you are having.

Q: Can I stop during the training and complete it later on?

A: Yes. Your training session is good for 30 days from the date you originally started the training. You can log back in and just click on the "Complete" button to finish the training any time during this 30 day period. After the 30 days your training session will expire and you will need to start back at the beginning. If you stop during the test, you will be required to retake the entire test.

Q: My session has timed out. Now what do I do?

A: The online training will time out after about 30 minutes if there is no activity. Simply sign out and then log back in again to complete the training.

Q: I live outside of Washington state, but will be working as a food worker in Washington state, how do I get my food worker card?

A: You can click the "Out of State" button when it displays the Washington state map for residence. You can then choose the county in which you will be working.

Q: How do I replace or reprint my food worker card?

A: You can reprint a card for a $5.00 fee from the online course. Go back to the beginning of the online course, select the "Login" button and sign back in. Be sure to use the exact same registration information you originally signed in with. If you wish to come into our office, there is a $5.00 charge for reprinting, payable by cash.

Q: How do I renew my food worker card?

A:You can renew a card for a $5.00 fee from the online course. Go back to the beginning of the online course, select the "Login" button and sign back in. Be sure to use the exact same registration information you originally signed in with. If you wish to come into our office, there is a $5.00 charge for reprinting, payable by cash.

Q. When will my card expire?

A. Your first Food Worker card is valid for two years. You may take the test and renew your card up to 60 days before the card expires and receive a renewal card that will be valid for 3 years.

Q: How can I get a card that is valid for three years?

A: If you have an unexpired Washington State Food Worker Card, bring your old card and the card you received online into your local Health Department within 5 days of passing the test and we will issue you a three-year card. If your old card has expired, you will only be able to receive a two-year card. You can receive a five-year card if you have completed an approved advanced training course such as Serve Safe Food Managers Course within 2 years prior to taking the Food Worker test.

Q: Why does my new card cost $10?

A: The $10 fee is set in state regulation, Washington Administrative Code 246-217-025. The fee is used by local health departments to defray the costs of food worker training and education, administration of the program, and testing of applicants.

Q: Do I have to sign my card once I print it?

A: Yes. Your signature is required on your valid food worker card.

For more FAQs please go to http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/food/workercardfaq.html

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