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What does a Food Handler do?

Learn all about Food Handler duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Food Handler.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A food handler is someone who works in the food service industry and is responsible for handling food. This can include preparing, cooking, serving, and cleaning up after meals. Food handlers must follow strict hygiene rules to prevent the spread of foodborne illness.

Food Handler job duties include:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often, including before handling food, after using the restroom, and after handling raw meat
  • Wear gloves when handling food
  • Keep food preparation areas clean, including counters, cutting boards, and knives
  • Store food properly to prevent spoilage
  • Prepare food according to recipes or instructions
  • Cook food thoroughly to ensure safety
  • Serve food in a clean and sanitary manner
  • Monitor food temperature to ensure safety
  • Discard any food that is spoiled or has been handled improperly

Food Handler Job Requirements

There are no formal education requirements for a food handler, although most employers prefer to hire candidates with at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some states require food handlers to obtain a food handler's license or certificate, which can be obtained through online courses or at community colleges. Most employers also require some experience working in a food service environment.

Food Handler Skills

  • Food handling
  • Sanitation
  • Personal hygiene
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Multi-tasking
  • Customer service
  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability

Related: Top Food Handler Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Food Handler

A food handler is someone who works with food in any capacity. This could include working in a restaurant, grocery store, catering company, or any other type of food service. Food handlers are responsible for ensuring that the food they work with is safe to eat. This means following food safety guidelines and procedures at all times.

Becoming a food handler is not difficult, but there are some steps you need to take. First, you will need to obtain a food handler’s permit from your local health department. This permit shows that you have completed the necessary training on food safety and are aware of the proper procedures for handling food.

Next, you will need to find a job that involves working with food. This could be anything from working in a restaurant kitchen to stocking shelves at a grocery store. Once you have found a job, make sure to follow all of the food safety procedures that are in place. This includes washing your hands often, keeping surfaces clean, and cooking food properly.

By following these steps, you can become a food handler and help ensure that the food you work with is safe for everyone to eat.

Related: Food Handler Resume Example

Related: Food Handler Interview Questions (With Example Answers)