Food service establishments as defined in section 381.0072, Florida Statutes, are required to meet manager certification requirements, unless otherwise exempted. All establishments required to have a certified food manager shall designate in writing the food service manager or managers for each location. The establishments include, but are not limited to:
The following types of food service establishments are exempted from Department of Health manager certification requirements:
It shall be the responsibility of the certified manager or managers to inform all employees under their supervision and control who engage in the storage, preparation, or serving of food, to do so in accordance with acceptable sanitary practices as described in the Food Hygiene Rule, Chapter 64E-11 (PDF file, 164 KB), Florida Administrative Code.
Establishments that serve highly susceptible populations (a group of persons who are more likely than other populations to experience foodborne disease because they are immunocompromised or older adults institutionalized or preschool age children in custodial care), or that have three or more employees at one time engaged in the storage, preparation or service of food must have at least one certified manager present at all times when these activities are taking place. All other establishments (general populations or two or less employees) must have a certified manager or managers responsible for all periods of operation but the manager or managers need not be present at all times.
To become a certified food manager in compliance with Department of Health requirements, individuals must successfully pass a certification examination administered by any approved Manager Certification Test Provider (see below for listing).
Applications are available directly from the approved providers. The Department of Health does not require individuals attend an examination preparation or training course; however, preparation courses, study guides, and other helpful materials are offered by each of the approved test providers.
Please contact the approved test provider for times, dates, and cost of the examination as well as ordering training materials and scheduling a preparation course. Make sure you request the Florida Department of Health, Food Manager Certification test information, since these providers do offer examinations for other food related programs. The test provider issues a certificate to successful participants, which is valid for a period of five years from the date of issuance. All establishments shall designate in writing the food service manager or managers for location.
If you are unable to locate your food manager certificate, please contact the approved provider who issued your certification for a replacement and any applicable fees.
The general requirements for manager certification can be found in section 64E-11.012, F.A.C. (PDF file, 24 KB) of the Department of Health - Food Hygiene Rule.