Online Food Worker Cards, Education Now Offered by Health District
Additional convenience prompts change in hours, days of operation for onsite testing center
For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539
SPOKANE, Wash. – July 30, 2012 – Spokane Regional Health District now offers the option of getting a food worker card online, as well as in person.
To help prevent foodborne illness, food workers are required by the state to receive education and pass a test showing basic knowledge about food safety.
In the past, a food worker normally took the class and test onsite at the health district, and upon passing, paid $10 to receive their card. Now, food workers may take the class and test online, and if they pass, pay the same $10 and print their own food worker card.
"We looked at increasing food safety education and what's needed to protect the public's health while increasing convenience for community members," said SRHD Food Safety program manager, Ray Byrne. "An online system provides people with the food safety education they need, while also lending more flexibility, making it easier for more people to obtain their cards."
The health district’s Food Safety program most commonly cites restaurants for “food worker cards not current for all food workers.” Staff expect the new online permitting system to help reduce these violations. The transition has also substantially changed the program’s operations. Effective Aug. 1, 2012, the health district’s onsite testing center will be open to the public only on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The change in hours was prompted by food workers utilizing the new online system, instead of coming to the health district. In 2012, the program has also seen a 12 percent increase in cards issued, compared to the same period last year, indicating the convenience of the online system is encouraging more food workers to get their cards.
Food workers should allow approximately 60 minutes to complete the education and test, and will be issued a card valid for two years upon passing. The online class is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Mandarin, Cantonese, or Russian, and is also closed-captioned for the hearing impaired. Visiting the health district may still be a better option for residents without internet access, who do not have a credit or debit card available for payment, who do not have the ability to print their card, or who need additional assistance.
To maintain a valid food worker card, an individual must repeat the education and test prior to expiration. A three year card will be issued upon renewal. The online program is currently available to all Spokane County residents. Several other health departments also provide the online food worker card program to residents in their counties.
For more Food Safety program information, click here. Information specific to food worker cards can be found here.
More information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.