Earn Your Illinois Food Handler Certificate 100% Online

Food handlers in Illinois can complete ANAB-accredited Illinois Food Handler training 100% online to learn safe food handling principles and satisfy state training requirements for food workers. Earn your Illinois food handler certificate on your own schedule — without having to leave home.

You can train at your own pace, logging on and off anytime. After you complete the two-hour course, you can instantly download your Illinois food handler certificate and wallet-sized food handler card. This ANAB-accredited program satisfies Illinois food safety training requirements, which are based on the FDA's 2017 Food Code.

Who Needs a Food Handler Certificate in Illinois?

According to the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act, all Illinois food handlers are required to complete ANAB-accredited training on basic food safety within 30 days of starting employment. Employees must retake food handler training every three years to stay compliant.

A food handler is any employee who works with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces. All Illinois food handlers are required to complete food handler training, excluding temporary food establishment workers, such as unpaid volunteers, and those with a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) certification.

Course Details

In the Illinois food handler certificate course, you will learn how to prevent foodborne illness and cross-contamination by following best practices for personal hygiene, workspace sanitization and basic food safety.

The two-hour online certificate program contains seven modules:

  • Food Hazards
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Food Worker Illness
  • Time and Temperature Control
  • Food Storage
  • Cleaning and Sanitation
  • Food Allergies

The course includes seven end-of-module quizzes and a final exam. Your official certificate and food handler card will be available for instant download following course completion.

Testing Requirements

Each course module ends with a three-question quiz. You must score at least 66% on each quiz to proceed to the next section. You have unlimited attempts at each quiz, so you can continue trying until you receive a passing grade.

The course ends with a 40-question final exam. The questions are multiple choice. To earn your official food handler card and certificate, you must earn a passing score of 70%. Unlike the quizzes, you only have two attempts to pass the final exam. If you do not receive a passing score after two tries, you will be required to re-register for the course and restart your training.

Course Overview

Module 1: Food Hazards

The course's first module covers how food can make people sick. You'll learn to recognize common food hazards and how they get into food.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Identifying common physical, chemical and biological food hazards
  • Recognizing how to prevent hazards from contaminating food

Module 2: Personal Hygiene

The second module introduces food handlers to basic hygiene requirements. Learning objectives include:

  • Identifying when, where and how hands should be washed
  • Recognizing when to avoid bare-hand contact with food and how to prevent it
  • Identifying conditions in which food workers may eat, drink or smoke at work
  • Recalling requirements for hair restraints, jewelry, nail polish and artificial nails

Module 3: Food Worker Illness

In this module, you will learn to identify when you should tell your manager that you are ill.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Recognizing illness symptoms that must be reported to a manager
  • Determining when an illness must be reported to a manager

Module 4: Time and Temperature Control

Time and temperature controls prevent the growth of pathogens that cause foodborne illness. You'll learn which foods need temperature control. We'll also cover rules for thawing, cooking, holding, cooling and reheating food.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Recognizing appropriate methods and requirements for cooling, reheating and thawing food
  • Identify the different types of "time and temperature control for safety" (TCS) food and "potentially hazardous food" (PHF)
  • Recall the correct temperatures and time controls at which PHF/TCS food must be cooked, held, stored and reheated
  • Describe the importance of using and maintaining food thermometers, and outline the steps required for each food thermometer calibration technique

Module 5: Food Storage

Cross contamination is a leading cause of foodborne illness. In this module, you'll learn how to prevent cross-contamination by storing food safely.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Describing how to date mark food and use the FIFO storage method
  • Identifying safe food storage procedures

Module 6: Cleaning and Sanitation

Practicing effective cleaning and sanitation techniques is vitally important for food handlers. Learn how to properly clean, sanitize and dry food equipment and utensils. We'll also cover storing chemicals and preventing pest infestations.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

  • Identifying the proper methods and frequency for cleaning and sanitizing food-contact surfaces
  • Recognizing signs of a pest infestation
  • Determining appropriate methods for storing chemicals

Module 7: Food Allergies

In this section, you will learn about food allergies and protecting allergic customers.

Learning outcomes for this module include:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this Illinois food handler training ANAB-accredited?

Yes. Our online course is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) through our partner StateFoodSafety and meets all state requirements to issue Illinois food handler certificates. ANAB accreditation indicates that this certificate program meets the institute's high standards for quality and follows predefined industry requirements for education and training.

» Learn more about our ANAB-accredited certificate program

Who needs food handler training?

Illinois requires food handler training for employees who work with unpackaged food, food equipment utensils or food contact surfaces. This includes workers at restaurants, grocery stores, retail food establishments and other establishments where food is served for on-site consumption.

Examples of jobs that require a valid certificate in food handler training include:

  • Restaurant workers
  • Kitchen employees
  • Cooks
  • Prep cooks
  • Chefs
  • Hosts and hostesses
  • Grocery store employees
  • Deli workers
  • Mobile food stand employees
  • And more

An Illinois food handler certificate is not required for workers at certain facilities that serve food, including hospitals, day cares, nursing homes and schools. Volunteers are also exempt from food handler training. Visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website to learn more about training requirements for specific jobs.

How long will my Illinois food handler certificate be valid?

Your food handler card and certificate will remain valid for three years after the issue date. Once your certificate expires, you will need to retake the food handler training course to stay compliant with state law.

What is the deadline to complete food handler training?

According to the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act, all Illinois food handlers must receive ANAB-accredited training on safe food handling principles within 30 days of being hired. You will need to retake the course every three years to renew your Illinois food handler certificate.

What will I learn in food handler training?

Topics covered in the online food handler course include:

  • Reducing the risk of foodborne illness
  • Hygiene standards
  • Preventing food contamination
  • Causes and symptoms of foodborne diseases
  • Cleaning and sanitization procedures
  • Time and temperature controls

Additional Links and Resources

Fast, easy. I had to get a certificate to start my job ASAP, and I couldn't have found a more sufficient website. Thanks!

— Andrea M.

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