Frequently Asked Questions

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Students and Workers | Instructors | Foodservice Operators

 

Students and Workers

Do I have to have a FOODSAFE certificate to work as a server?
The BC Health Act: Food Premises Regulation, Part 3, Division 2 - Training, Foodsafe Training 10 states that:

1) Every operator of a food service establishment must hold a certificate, issued by a health official, for the successful completion of the food handler training program known as FOODSAFE or its equivalent.

2) Every operator of a food service establishment must ensure that, while the operator is absent from the food service establishment, at least one employee present in the establishment holds the certificate referred to in subsection (1).

This means that it is not required by the BC regulation that you have a FOODSAFE Level 1 certificate in order to work as a server. However, some employers require that all their employees have a Level 1 certificate. Also, it is an advantage to have your certificate when applying for jobs.
The FOODSAFE course is about preventing the transmission of foodborne illness and also about worker safety on the job. People who prepare, serve and clean up food should take the course for the safety of the customers and also for their own safety.

To find courses in your area, search the directory found on the Courses page.

Does my FOODSAFE certificate expire?
As of July 29, 2013, all FOODSAFE Level 1 certificates issued in British Columbia have a five-year expiry date. FOODSAFE Level 1 certificates issued prior to July 29, 2013, are valid until July 29, 2018. To help FOODSAFE Level 1 certificate holders keep their food safety knowledge up to date, a short FOODSAFE Level 1 Refresher course is offered online by Open School BC. The approximately three-hour refresher course covers all the essentials of the FOODSAFE Level 1 training program. A grade of 80% must be achieved in the exam to be recertified.

How do I get a replacement certificate?
FOODSAFE certificates are issued by the Health Authorities and you will need to contact the Health Authority in the region where you took the course to get a replacement certificate. Click here for the Health Authorities contact information.

Where can I buy an extra Student Workbook?
Crown Publications, Queen's Printer (QP) publishes and distributes the FOODSAFE curriculum products.  You may purchase extra Student Workbooks for you or your business at the Queen’s Printer website.

Is the Student Workbook available in languages other than English?
Yes, the FOODSAFE Level 1 Student Workbook is also available in French, Chinese, Korean and Punjabi. Let your FOODSAFE instructor know in advance if you would like to have your workbook in a language other than English.

Is the exam available in languages other than English?
Yes. Click here for a list of available languages. Let your FOODSAFE instructor know in advance if you would like to have your exam in a language other than English.

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Instructors

How can I become a FOODSAFE or MarketSafe Instructor?
The British Columbia Health Authorities are responsible for certifying and monitoring FOODSAFE and MarketSafe instructors in each region within the province. If you are interested in becoming an instructor, click here for information about qualifications. Complete either the FOODSAFE Instructor Application Form or MarketSafe Application Form and submit it to the Health Authority in your region. For Health Authority contact information, click here.

Provinces and jurisdictions outside of British Columbia will have their own regulations for instructor certification. Outside of BC, contact the appropriate authority responsible for food safety to determine requirements.

Where can I buy FOODSAFE and MarketSafe curriculum products?
Crown Publications, Queen's Printer (QP) publishes and distributes the FOODSAFE and MarketSafe curriculum products. On the Crown Publications, QP website, type "foodsafe" or "marketsafe" into the Search box.

Where can I find teaching resources and other information about teaching and marketing my FOODSAFE courses?
All certified FOODSAFE instructors in British Columbia will have received a login User Name and Password from their Health Authority to access the “Instructor Login” link on this website.  In the Instructor and Administrator section of the site you will find teaching resources and links to more information.  You will also be able to enter your course information into the Course Search database from this section.

 

Foodservice Operators

Who do I contact about permits to operate food premises?
Refer to the BC Health Act: Food Premises Regulation. All questions regarding food premises permits should be directed to your Health Authority.

How can I find a trainer to teach courses to my employees?
Businesses and community groups may hire certified FOODSAFE instructors to provide customized training. Contact the Food Safety Contact in your Health Authority for a list of certified instructors in your region.

Can I or one of my employees be certified to teach FOODSAFE to my workers?
The British Columbia Health Authorities are responsible for certifying and monitoring FOODSAFE instructors and ensuring that instructors are competent. Contact the Health Authority in your region for more information about certification of an in-house FOODSAFE trainer.

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