Food handler test and cards available online
January 24, 2013
Wahkiakum County residents working in most food related industries are required to possess a Washington State Department of Health (DOH) food handler card. The Wahkiakum County Health & Human Service (HHS) Department announced January 16 that Wahkiakum residents have a new internet resource to help conveniently obtain or renew food handler cards. Residents may learn food worker safety, take the food handler test and purchase their DOH approved food handler cards by using the following website: http://www.foodworkercard.wa.gov.
Food worker card requirements are established under Chapter 246-217 WAC which defines a "food service worker" as an individual who works (or intends to work) with or without pay in a food service establishment and handles unwrapped or unpackaged food or who may contribute to the transmission of infectious diseases through the nature of his/her contact with food products and/or equipment and facilities. All food service workers must obtain a food worker card within 14 calendar days from the beginning of employment at a food service establishment. Temporary food service establishment such as those at festivals and church groups must have a minimum of one person that has a valid food worker card in charge each shift or during hours of operation.
The new online program takes approximately 60 minutes to complete and costs $10 payable online with a credit card. Once the test has been passed, the food worker card can be printed from home or work. Additionally, an electronic copy is sent to the e-mail account specified in the initial registration process. New food handler cards are valid for two years from the date of issue. The renewal card is valid for three years if renewed prior to expiration of the initial card. According to HHS Director Sue Cameron, “a nice feature of the online program is the automatic reminder e-mail website users will receive after they initially use the online system. An email will remind residents one month prior to the expiration of their food handler card. Using the website is a tool that will help remind residents two or three years later when their food handler cards are set to expire. We can help residents obtain food handler cards in the Health Department. But we want residents to have the option to obtain their food handler cards at their convenience and without having to take time off work.”
The online program is developed and maintained by Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and is licensed to counties in Washington State through an inter-agency agreement. Wahkiakum County recently signed an agreement with Tacoma-Pierce to permit Wahkiakum County residents to take advantage of the online program. Most of the counties in Washington now offer Tacoma-Pierce’s online food worker website. The Tacoma-Pierce website is the only online program that is accredited by the Washington State Department of Health.
The Food Handler Test and Cards are still available in person at the Wahkiakum County Health Department’s office at 64 Main Street in Cathlamet in the basement of the Court House. For questions or additional information contact the Health Department by phone at (360) 795-6207 or by e-mail at email@example.com.