A food handler card — also known as a food handler certificate or license — proves that you have the knowledge necessary to handle food safetly.
Owing to the importance of safe food handling practices for preventing foodborne illnesses, many states and counties require foodservice workers to earn a food handler card.
However, you may wonder whether Missouri or any of its counties require you to earn a food handler card.
This article explains everything you need to know about a Missouri food handler card, including whether you need one, how to earn one, and more.
Do you need a food handler card in Missouri?
However, several individual counties and cities have their own food handler training requirements.
In these counties or cities, you must earn a food handler card if you prepare, sell, or handle food contact surfaces like utensils or equipment.
While most counties and cities don’t specify when you must obtain your food handler card, most require it within 30 days of employment.
If you live in a county or city that doesn’t require food handler training, your employer — whether a restaurant, bar, market, or healthcare facility like a nursing home — may still require it.
Additionally, earning your food handler card — even if you’re not required to — can make it easier to land your next gig or earn a higher salary.
While Missouri does not have require food workers to earn a food handler card, many of its counties and cities do.
How do you get a Missouri food handler card?
Each county and city requiring food handler training has its own requirements.
Some issue and only accept county- or city-specific food handler cards, while others accept food handler cards issued by online training providers like FoodSafePal.
Missouri Food Handler Card
Easily earn your food handler card in under 2 hours
Here’s a breakdown of each county’s food handler training requirements:
|City of Independence||Yes|
Boone, Jackson, and Platte require that you earn a food handler card directly through the health department.
If you live in the other counties or cities, you can earn your food handler card through an online training provider, but make sure the provider is approved by your health department.
The time it takes to earn your food handler card varies by organization and whether you earn it through the health department of the county or city in which you live, but you can expect to finish the course and take the assessment in two hours or less.
The course covers essential food safety topics, including:
- time and temperature controls for food safety
- good personal hygiene
- food contamination prevention
- cleaning and sanitizing procedures
The final assessment includes questions on these topics. The number of questions and the minimum passing score varies by the organization, county, or city.
Most organizations, including most counties and cities, allow at least one free retake if you don’t pass the assessment the first time.
The cost to earn your food handler card also varies depending on whether you earn it through an approved provider or through the health department, but you shouldn’t expect to may more than $15 for the course.
Some counties and cities charge a fee ranging between $5 and $15 on top of the cost to earn your food handler card through an organization other than through them.
For example, if the cost to enroll with an online training provider is $15, you may have to pay $20 to $30.
Boone, Jackson, and Platte require that you earn a food handler card directly through the health department. If you live in a different county or city, you can earn your food handler card through an approved online training provider.
How long does a Missouri food handler card last?
A food handler card specific to your county or city usually expires three years from the date you earned it.
The card or certificate will tell you how long it lasts.
When your card is near its expiration, you must retake a county- or city-approved food handler course to renew it.
Renewing your card every three years or so ensures that you stay current and fresh on important food safety practices.
Make sure you provide your manager with a copy to prove to health inspectors that your training is both approved and current.
Most food handler training programs issue certificates or cards as a PDF, making it easy to print or email a copy to your manager.
If you lose your food handler card or certificate, you can redownload it from the organization in which you earned it or contact them to request another copy.
Most Missouri county- or city-issued food handler cards expire three years from the date you earned it. Renewing your food handler card every three or so years keeps you current on best food safety practices and principles.
The bottom line
Missouri has no law requiring food workers to earn a food handler card, but many of its counties and cities do.
North Dakota Food Handler Card
Easily earn your food handler card in under 2 hours
Most counties and cities allow you to earn a food handler card online through an approved online training provider, while others — Boone, Jackson, and Platte — require you to earn it directly through the health department.
Most Missouri county- or city-issued food handler cards expire three years from the date of issuance.