Earn Your Illinois Food Handler Certificate 100% Online

Food handlers in Illinois can complete ANSI-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 ANSI-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 ANSI-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 five modules:

  • Foodborne Illness
  • Personal Hygiene and Food Safety
  • Preventing Food Contamination
  • Cleaning and Sanitization
  • Time and Temperature

The course includes five 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 module ends with a five-question knowledge review. You will need to score at least 70% on each quiz to continue in the course, and you have an unlimited number of attempts to pass.

Once you have completed all course modules, you will be prompted to take a 40-question final exam. You have 180 minutes to score at least 70% on the exam, and you have two attempts to pass. If you do not pass the exam after two attempts, you will need to re-register for the course and start again from the beginning.

After you have successfully passed the final exam, you can immediately download your Illinois food handler certificate and wallet-sized food handler card.

Course Overview

Module 1: Foodborne Illness

This section explains common food safety hazards that lead to foodborne illness. Learning objectives include:

  • Explain factors and behaviors that increase the risk of foodborne illness
  • List the types of food hazards: biological, chemical and physical
  • Describe common sources of foodborne illness, symptoms and control measures

Module 2: Personal Hygiene and Food Safety

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

  • List personal hygiene requirements and standard safety precautions for food handlers
  • Understand safe procedures for bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods
  • State control measures used to ensure food safety

Module 3: Preventing Food Contamination

Module 3 explains safe procedures for preparing, storing and transporting food. Learning objectives include:

  • Describe how to safely prepare, store, transport and display food
  • List procedures and methods that prevent food contamination

Module 4: Cleaning and Sanitization

This module covers cleaning and sanitization guidelines for utensils and other equipment used in food preparation. Learning objectives include:

  • Describe how to safely use, store and sanitize utensils and food equipment
  • Explain how to properly launder and sanitize linens
  • List proper techniques and frequency for cleaning, sanitizing and drying food-contact surfaces and equipment

Module 5: Time and Temperature

Module 5 explains time and temperature controls that prevent the spread of foodborne illness and harmful pathogens. Learning objectives include:

  • Define the food temperature danger zone
  • List the types of time and temperature controls used to prevent illness
  • Explain how to properly use and calibrate a food thermometer

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this Illinois food handler training ANSI-accredited?

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

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 ANSI-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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