Food Manager Certification


California law requires businesses and institutions that prepare and serve food to the public to have a responsible individual within their organization who possesses a state approved certification in food safety and food protection. The primary responsibility of the certified food safety manager is to ensure that food prepared and served in these facilities is free of contamination and is safe for public consumption.

Since restaurants make up the majority of these businesses, state law requires each of these facilities to have at least one certified food safety manager on site during all hours of operation. However, recent trends indicate an increasingly higher percentage of the public which eat away from home, consume food that is prepared and served at institution owned cafeterias and buffets. Such facilities include schools, commissaries, governmental agencies, hospitals, assisted living facilities, etc.

This trend is likely due to an aging population along with the high cost of restaurant dining. Aging is known to be a primary risk factor for foodborne sickness. The marked increase in foodborne outbreaks over past decades suggests that this is the case. Outbreaks occurring aboard cruise ships and in extended care facilities are cases in point.

Admission Requirements

This course is not designed to prepare individuals for employment in the food service industry. Rather, it is recommended for continuing education for individuals currently employed in this industry including restaurant managers, dieticians, nutritionists and others that have primary responsibility for food protection.

This is a short-term course consisting of 2 – 5 hours. The objective of the course is to (1) upgrade the knowledge of these individuals in sources of food contamination. Emphasis is placed on time-tested standards that are known to protect the public health in all environments where food is prepared and served. (2) A second objective is to prepare participants to pass the national food safety certifying exam which is offered at the conclusion of the course.

A score of 70% is required to pass. Successful participants receive a certificate of completion that is valid upon issuance and remains valid for five years. Individuals with expired certifications or certifications set to expire in the near future may renew their certification by participating in a two hour review session followed by the national certifying exam. This two hour training is available in English and Spanish.

To be eligible, a manager must be previously certified and now needs a renewal. In this case, a copy of the most recent manager food safety certification must be submitted or a manager must have at least three years of experience at the managerial level. These individuals are required to submit a short resume indicating a minimum of three years managerial level experience. Participants who have no experience are referred to the five hour certified food safety manager course. (Food Safety and Protection Registration Form)

The training may occur here at the training center or at the candidate’s place of employment. For candidates who prefer that the training occur at their facility, an approved instructor will appear on site to conduct the training and proctor the certifying examination at a date and time of their convenience. The training session will consist of a 30 minute review followed by a 1 ½ hour certified exam.

At the end of the exam each participant will receive an official letter of participation. The official food safety certification document will arrive by U.S. mail within 15 days. This certification is valid upon receipt and remains valid for 5 years.

For more details regarding the food safety certification course contact us at (619) 294-2696 or via e-mail at

Off-site training and certification is offered for groups of 10 or more.