Food Safety Certification Programs


A variety of safe food handling certification programs are available nationwide and internationally. The following information on food safety certification and training programs are provided for informational purposes and do not constitute a recommendation by the School Nutrition Association (formerly ASFSA). Some local and state certification requirements are also available through links below. Check with local health departments for updated certification information as every state and many counties and cities within states maintain their own certification requirements.

Conference for Food Protection

The Conference for Food Protection (CFP) is a non-profit organization that brings together representatives from the food industry, government, academia, and consumer organizations to identify and address emerging problems of food safety. Though the CFP has no formal regulatory authority, it is a powerful organization that profoundly influences model laws and regulations among all government agencies and minimizes differing interpretations and implementation.

Through an inclusive process, CFP has developed national standards for the certification of managers of food establishments as defined in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Code. CFP-approved and accredited food safety certification courses are widely recognized and recommended for school nutrition professionals. The certification programs listed below were designed to meet CFP standards.

Certification Programs

Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP)
The Dietary Managers Association’s CFPP credential is geared toward the foodservice professional. Options for the food protection course are a 16-hour classroom food safety training course, independent study via print materials or independent online study.

Certified Food Safety Manager (CFSM)
This certification, offered by the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, Inc., serves the foodservice industry, regulatory agencies, and academia. In addition to the general Food Safety Manager Certification Examination, the National Registry offers and exam developed specifically for school foodservice professionals.

Prometric Certified Professional Food Manager Program (CPFM)
Prometric administers the CPFM exam, which tests knowledge, skills, and abilities related to food protection, and the ability to organize and supervise employees within the work environment. The CPFM exam is appropriate for site supervisors, managers, or first line supervisors in establishments that prepare and serve food and is recognized by the Council for Food Protection and ANSI.

A comprehensive food safety education and training program developed by the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association that is widely recognized by many state and local jurisdictions. The program combines thorough training in all areas of food safety. The ServSafe® certificate verifies that an individual has successfully passed the ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Certification Examination.

State and Local Food Safety Requirements

NRAEF: Regulatory Requirements
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) maintains a listing of many state and local food safety certification requirements.

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