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What Are Retail-Specific Food Safety Courses?

A food worker ready to serve customers at a grocery store deli.

Here at StateFoodSafety, we’re committed to providing the best food safety resources for all types of food businesses across the country. We understand that different types of establishments need different types of training. That’s why we’ve developed courses specifically for individuals working in grocery, convenience stores, and other retail food stores. 

Currently, these courses are only available for companies that partner with us. We’ve answered some frequently asked questions about retail-specific course options below. Read on to learn how our retail course options can benefit your company.

Why have different food safety courses for retail workers?

Although restaurants and grocery/convenience stores both sell food, the setting for its preparation and distribution can vary. For example, restaurants often prepare food that will be consumed in the establishment. On the other hand, retail stores sell packaged food or serve food from delis, hot bars, and salad bars. Most of the time, patrons purchase the food and consume it at home.

It’s helpful for food workers in each of these settings to have individual training that prepares them for their specific working environment. Our aim with retail-specific courses is to prepare retail workers to practice food safety in a way that feels more relevant to their job setting. Retail courses prepare these employees for their jobs in the same way more traditional, restaurant-oriented training prepares restaurant workers.

Which food safety courses have retail versions?

All of our traditional course options have retail-specific variations available, including:

  • Food handler and food handler essentials courses
  • Food protection manager certification training and exam
  • Food allergen awareness training

Each of the above programs are only available by partnering with StateFoodSafety.

In addition, we have a separate alcohol seller training for stores that sell alcohol for off-premise consumption. This course is publicly available on our website in select locations across the country, not just for those who partner with us.

What are the main differences between retail and other food safety courses?

Food handler, food handler essentials, and food allergen awareness training

In these courses, we’ve customized the illustrations to depict retail-specific settings throughout the training. We are also working to get customer feedback about other changes that would be helpful for retail food workers. 

Food Protection Manager Training & Certification

Our food protection manager training course also has customized illustrations that depict retail settings.

In addition, the retail food protection manager exam tests on the same principles of food safety as the traditional exam. However, the questions are set in a retail-specific context. For example, instead of asking how to clean an industrial kitchen, a question may ask how to keep food shelving sanitary.

Upon passing the exam, certifications for each above-mentioned course remain valid even if a food worker switches from a retail job to a restaurant job or vice versa.

Alcohol seller training

For the alcohol seller off-premise training, the course material and illustrations are altered to reflect situations an off-premise seller will face. For example, the course has the trainee practice denying service to minors trying to purchase alcohol. This course is designed to help individuals who will be selling alcohol for off-premise consumption prepare for their jobs.

Are retail-specific courses approved by my health department?

All of our retail-specific food handler and food allergen courses have been approved by health departments in the areas they are sold.

The retail food protection manager exam is ANSI-accredited, and meets the same standards as the traditional exam.

Our off-premise alcohol seller course is approved in the jurisdictions in which it is sold. You can see whether or not the course is offered in your area when you select your location.

The bottom line is, we will never sell a product that isn’t approved by the local health department. When you come to us for training and certification, we guarantee our programs are approved.

Are you ready to efficiently train your retail employees using our customized service options? Reach out to our Accounts team!

Looking for more information about our products? Check out our Client Resources. We also have a wide variety of free food safety resources available to use in your establishment or to share with others.


— Calvin Clark

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