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Food Safety Certification Requirements

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Attention: Food Service Directors

Number: SNP-05-2019

Date: March 2019

Reference: California Health and Safety Code, Part 7; California Retail Food Code, Section 113947

Supersedes: Management Bulletin SNP-12-2016

Subject: Food Safety Certification Requirements

This Management Bulletin (MB) provides School Nutrition Program sponsors with current guidance regarding food safety certification requirements. This MB supersedes California Department of Education MB SNP-12-2016: Food Safety Certification Requirements (April 2016).

The following regulations are set forth by California Retail Food Code (CalCode), Section 113947 as it pertains to food safety certification:

  1. Food facilities, except temporary food facilities, that prepare, handle, or serve nonprepackaged potentially hazardous food shall have an owner or employee who has successfully passed an approved and accredited food safety certification examination as specified in sections 113947.2 and 113947.3.

  2. There shall be at least one food safety certified facility owner or employee at each food facility. No food safety certified employee at a food facility may serve at any other food facility as the person required to be certified pursuant to this subdivision. However, the certified owner or employee need not be present at the food facility during all hours of operation.

  3. Food safety certification required pursuant to CalCode, Section 113947.1 shall be achieved by a food facility employee successfully passing an examination from an accredited food protection manager certification organization. The certification organization shall be accredited by the American National Standards Institute ( as meeting the requirements of the Conference for Food Protection's "Standards for Accreditation of Food Protection Manager Certification Programs." Those food facility employees who successfully pass an approved certification examination shall be issued a certificate by the certifying organization. The issuance date for each original certificate issued pursuant to this section shall be the date when the individual successfully completes the examination. Certificates shall be valid for five years from the date of original issuance.
Contact Information

Please note that the definitions and terms used in this management bulletin are outlined in CalCode, which is available on the California Department of Public Health, Retail Food Program Web page at For further guidance and information, please contact your local environmental health department.

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact Mia Bertacchi, Child Nutrition Assistant, Northern School Nutrition Program Unit (SNPU), by phone at 916-445-1261 or by e-mail at, or Lori Porter, Child Nutrition Consultant, Southern SNPU, by phone at 916-322-1454 or by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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