1-844-LAHEC00 (524-3200)
Skip to main content

November 11, 2023

What is the Difference Between Food Handler and Manager Certification?

Are you working in a restaurant or want to become a chef and wonder which ServSafe Certification will help you in your career? Did you know that the ServSafe Certification is required for those restaurant workers employed in California? Let’s take a look at what ServSafe is and the certifications in food safety that they offer.

What is ServSafe?

ServSafe is an educational program developed by the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry’s leading association for food safety training. Their main goal is to educate food service workers about food safety. They offer multiple food safety training certifications for food handlers and managers.

What is the ServSafe Food Handler Certification?

This certification proves proficiency in food safety best practices for food handlers like restaurant workers, servers, and other employee-level positions within a restaurant. The exam focuses on:

Basic Food Safety – this subject teaches food handlers the fundamental principles to keep food and customers safe. Basic food safety introduces the main rules: food should stay clean, cooked thoroughly, and held at safe temperatures. Further, raw and cooked foods should be separated, and food handlers should use safe water to clean raw materials.

Cleaning & Sanitation – cleaning helps remove visible dirt, and sanitizing directly reduces the pathogens on the food and cooking equipment. This course focuses on adequately cleaning counters, floors, cutting boards, and dirty dishes. The focus is also on the sanitizing of kitchen services and cooking accessories.

Personal Hygiene – this subject focuses on how food service workers can stay clean while in the kitchen. Removing jewelry, washing hands properly, washing hands when changing stations, and wearing clean clothes and aprons are essential.

Time & Temperature – it is important to keep foods at safe temperatures, from 135 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Food that falls between the 135-to-41-degree range can grow bacteria, making food unsafe.

Cross-Contamination - can be harmful if the food service worker transfers bacteria to foods using dirty cutting boards and kitchen utensils. This can also occur when touching raw vegetables with raw meats or using a soiled apron to wipe your hands between handling different foods.

Food handler certification is a training program that educates frontline food service workers on the fundamental principles of food safety. It equips them with the knowledge to handle food safely and hygienically during various stages, from receiving and storage to preparation and serving. This certification is typically intended for employees who directly handle food but may have other managerial responsibilities.

What is the ServSafe Manager Certification?

This certification provides proficiency in food safety for food service managers. The exam focuses on:

  • Basic Food Safety
  • Cleaning & Sanitation
  • Purchasing, Receiving & Storage of Food
  • Forms of Contamination
  • Food Safety Management

The Foodservice Manager certification is for those in charge and ensure that all food handlers observe good food safety practices.

What is the Difference between the Food Handler and Manager Certification?

The primary distinction between food handler and manager certification lies in their scope of responsibility. Food handler certification focuses on imparting essential food safety knowledge to individuals who primarily engage in food handling tasks. It covers personal hygiene, proper handwashing, avoiding cross-contamination, and identifying common food allergens. While vital for ensuring basic food safety, food handler certification needs to delve deeper into the broader aspects of food service management.

On the other hand, ServSafe Manager Certification is designed specifically for those who hold managerial roles within the food service establishment. It goes beyond the fundamentals and delves into more complex topics such as regulatory compliance, creating and implementing food safety procedures, and training and overseeing the food service staff. Managers certified in ServSafe are equipped to maintain a safe and sanitary environment, mitigate potential risks, and ensure compliance with food safety regulations.

Why Manager Certification is Essential for Higher-Level Positions

Manager certification is essential for higher-level positions within the food service industry due to the increased level of responsibility that comes with these roles. As a manager, one is responsible for one's actions and the entire team's actions. Ensuring food safety and preventing foodborne illnesses become critical factors when managing a larger volume of food and serving more customers.

Moreover, as a manager, one must navigate the complexities of food safety regulations and ensure that the establishment is compliant with local, state, and federal laws. Failure to comply with these regulations can have severe consequences, ranging from fines and penalties to potential legal action and reputational damage.

How Do You Prepare for ServSafe Certification?

A great way to prepare for ServSafe certification is by attending the Culinary Arts program at Los Angeles Hospitality Education Center. In addition to sanitation and safety courses, the Culinary Arts curriculum focuses on an introduction to cooking, production identification, culinary nutrition, recipes and menus, and environmental sustainability practices—everything you need to work as a successful cook or chef in a Los Angeles restaurant.

Want to Learn More?

The Culinary Arts program aims to provide market-driven, competency-based education delivered by faculty with appropriate credentials and industry experience. This program prepares graduates for entry-level culinary employment with opportunities for advancement in the food service industry.

Contact us now to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram