ServSafe is a food and beverage safety training and certificate program administered by the National Restaurant Association. The program is accredited by ANSI and the Conference for Food Protection and features certifications for food handlers, managers, those who serve alcohol, and for the management of allergens.
The ServSafe Food Handler certification applies to food service employees who are not in a management position and certifies basic knowledge in the areas of personal hygiene, cleaning and sanitation, basic food safety, time and temperature, and cross-contamination and allergens. This is an untimed forty question exam with 75% correct required to pass.
The ServSafe Manager exam is for food service employees in management positions. There are 90 questions on the test with a two hour time limit for completion. A passing score is 75%.
The ServSafe Alcohol exam covers alcohol laws, intoxication, checking identification, and dealing with difficult situations.
The ServSafe Allergens exam is required for ServSafe certification in Massachusetts and Rhode Island but is encouraged for anyone working in the food service industry.
The National Restaurant Association offers the various ServSafe certifications although training and test proctoring are handled by independent administrators.
Anyone is eligible to acquire certification although different exams apply to different roles within the food service industry. The Food Handler certification is most likely the first certification most will acquire with alcohol, allergen, and manager certifications appropriate based on duties and job classification.
ServSafe certifications tests can be taken online but you must have a registered ServSafe Instructor or Proctor administer the exam. Students may not administer the exam to themselves. Check with your state restaurant association, local health department or community college with a culinary or hospitality program to find out if a proctored online exam site is available in your area. Also read regulatory requirements to ensure the online exam is accepted in your area.
Passing these certification tests is often required for employment in the food service industry. Depending on the state and county in which you work, one or more ServSave certifications may be mandatory for even entry-level jobs.