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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.

Child nutrition program staff that complete an approved training ISBE Food Handler Training and are able to score a passing grade on the required assessment will receive a certification that is valid for 3 years. 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.

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.

 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 (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

All School Food Authorities (SFA) operating the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) must have a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) based food safety program in place.

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