Illinois Food Handlers Training Available Whenever You Are

Learn how to safely handle and prepare food with our Illinois food handlers courses. The full training takes approximately 30 minutes and can be completed 100% online. Use any device to earn your certificate at home.

Our food handler program is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health. We also offer a Cass County Health Department-approved course for Cass County residents.

Learn important food safety principles:

  • Avoid the dangers of foodborne illness
  • Keep your work environment clean to prevent contamination
  • Properly heat and cool foods by controlling time and temperature
  • Protect diners from food allergens

Illinois requires all food workers and food employees to earn an Illinois food handlers card within 30 days of starting work. If you work with unpackaged food, food equipment, food utensils or food-contact surfaces, you need a food handlers card under the Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act. The state also requires all food employees to repeat food handler training every three years.

Food Handler


Who needs a food handlers card in Illinois?

Food handlers training is required for most employees who prepare or handle food. In addition to kitchen staff and servers, workers who come in contact with unpackaged food, food equipment, utensils or food-contact surfaces need a food handler card.

Do hospital, nursing home or daycare employees need a food handlers card?

Training requirements for employees of non-restaurants, such as nursing homes, daycares and hospitals, will vary depending on the role. Illinois requires non-restaurant employees who work in kitchens and other food preparation areas to have an Illinois food handlers certificate.

A food handlers certificate is not legally required for teachers, nursing staff or therapy staff. Because hospital, daycare and nursing home staff serve a highly susceptible population, the Illinois Department of Public Health strongly recommends food handlers training for these employees as well.

Are volunteers required to take food handlers training?

No. Illinois food handlers training requirements only apply to paid food employees.

How often do I need to renew my Illinois food handlers card?

To keep your food handlers certificate up to date, you must retake a food safety training course every three years.

Do grocery store or convenience store employees need an Illinois food handlers card?

Cashiers and other employees who do not work with unpackaged food or food equipment do not have to take food safety training. Only workers classified as food employees need an Illinois food handlers card.

Do you offer Illinois food handlers training in multiple languages?

Yes, Illinois food handlers training is available in the following languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Simplified Mandarin
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • American Sign Language
  • Tagalog
  • Serbo-Croatian

After you purchase your course, you can select your language.