Food Handler/Worker Cards
Food Worker Cards (also known as 'health cards' or 'food worker permits') are issued locally by Environmental Health Services on behalf of the State of Washington Department of Health authorized online training program. See the Department of Health Food Worker Card Frequently Asked Questions for additional details.
- Who needs a Food Worker Card?
Anyone who works with food in a restaurant or other facility serving the public needs a card. This includes cooks, servers, dishwashers, espresso stand workers, caregivers, grocery stockers and more. If you have any questions about whether you need a card, please contact Environmental Health Services.
- How soon do I need to get a Food Worker Card?
Washington State law requires that anyone who works in a restaurant or other food service facility must obtain a Food Worker card within 14 days of beginning employment. The food worker must have documentation of current job site food worker training.
- How do I prepare for the class and exam?
The Washington State Department of Health has put the Food Worker Manual online. It is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Punjabi, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese. It covers food safety basics to help you understand the class and prepare for the test.
- How long are Food Worker Cards good for?
Two-year new cards: Your first Food Worker Card will be good for two years.
Three-year renewal cards: Three-year renewal cards can be issued if your old card is current or will expire within the next 60 days. You must take the class and pass the exam even when you are renewing your old Food Worker Card.
Five-year renewal cards: If you are renewing your permit and had at least four additional hours of food safety training approved by the State of Washington, you may receive a five-year renewal card. This additional training must have been within the last two years, and you must provide proof of the training (certificate or card).
- What happens if I lose my card before it expires?
We can replace Food Worker Cards that were issued in Clallam County or online and have not expired yet. If your card was issued in another county and not online, you will need to contact that county for a replacement card.
You may come to the Clallam County Environmental Health Customer Service Counter in room 130 of the Courthouse building to get a duplicate card. We will look up your card in the statewide online database. If we verify that you took the class online and are eligible for a replacement card, we will print out a replacement card. There is a $5 fee for a duplicate card.
- I got my Food Worker Card in a different county in Washington State...is it still valid for Clallam County?
Yes! Food Worker Cards obtained in Washington State are valid in all counties of the state regardless of where you took the test. Unfortunately, records are kept separately in each county (unless obtained online), so if you lose your card you will need to contact the county where you got it for a replacement. Clallam County is only able to replace cards from other counties obtained through the statewide online food safety program Do it Right, Serve it Safe managed by Tacoma Pierce County.
Note: Food Worker Cards from other states are not valid in the State of Washington as food safety requirements vary from state-to-state. You will need to take Washington's required Food Worker class and pass the exam to obtain a Washington State Food Worker Card.
- How do I take the class online if I don't have a computer?
You may use a computer at the public library or senior center to complete the course. If you can not pay online or need your card printed you can visit the Environmental Health Customer Service Counter in room 130 of the Courthouse within five days of passing the test online to complete the transaction. If you have a group of 10 or more participants and are able to provide a location with a TV and DVD player we can coordinate a private class. Please contact us to make arrangements.