Nutrition and Wellness Programs
Child Nutrition Program Food Safety Information
Food Handler Training Requirement
The Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act was developed and implemented by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH is also responsible for the regulation and enforcement. The Illinois State Board of Education Nutrition and Wellness Programs Division is only providing a training option for child nutrition program staff.
The Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act requires all food service area employees or food handlers that work with open/unpackaged foods, food service equipment or utensils, or any food contact surfaces to receive an approved food handler training.
Volunteers (unpaid adults or students) do not need to complete a food handler training.
School food service (NSLP, SBP, etc), summer (SFSP) and child care (CACFP) and other child nutrition programs are classified as being “non-restaurant” facilities. Food handlers working in non-restaurant facilities must complete an approved training program by July 1, 2016.
Child nutrition program staff that complete an approved training and are able to score a passing grade on the required assessment will receive a certificate that is valid for 3 years. The ISBE Nutrition and Wellness Programs Division will be providing training opportunities throughout the 2015-16 school year. The ISBE trainings are offered free of charge to all child nutrition program staff.
PLEASE NOTE: The Food Handler Training is different from the Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC). Any food service staff person that has a current FSSMC certificate does not need to complete a Food Handler Training.
Food service staff that have completed an Illinois approved FSSMC training would have had to pay a $35 fee to IDPH for the Illinois issued certificate. An FSSMC certificate is valid for 5 years from the date of the exam. ISBE is not offering FSSMC classes.
Please contact a local IDPH office for questions regarding the FSSMC requirements and classes, and for specific questions related to the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Food Handler Training Study Guide
- Global Compliance Network (GCN) Online Training Option
- ISBE Food Handler Trainings
There are a number of IDPH approved online trainings. A web search for ‘Illinois approved food handler trainings’ will return a number of online options for child nutrition program staff.
Food Safety Inspections Requirement
Each site participating in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program must obtain two food safety inspections annually for each site where food is prepared or served.
SFAs that have not received a food sanitation inspection several months into the school year (i.e., December 31), must contact the local health department to request the two required inspections for each site where food is prepared or served (sample below). A copy of this letter must be maintained by the SFA as documentation of attempting to comply with the two food inspections as required by USDA regulations.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Based Food Safety Program Guidance
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently provided guidance regarding the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) requirements. Guidance for School Food Authorities: Developing a School Food Safety Program Based on the Process Approach to HACCP Principles was sent to all school food authorities (SFAs). The USDA encourages all SFAs to review the guidance which is also available on their website: HACCP Guidance Manual . All SFAs must have a fully implemented food safety program that complies with HACCP principles or with this guidance no later than the end of the 2005-2006 school year.
To provide further clarification on issues impacted by the HACCP requirements, USDA also released a set of question and answers. SFAs should review this information to ensure compliance with program requirements: Food Safety Questions and Answers .
- HACCP Based Standard Operating Procedures
- Template for Developing a School Food Safety Program
- USDA Guidance Document for Developing HACCP Based Food Safety Program