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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Food Manager Certification

Environmental Health

A “Food Manager” is a person who is responsible for the food establishment and/or has direct authority, control or supervision over employees who engage in the storage, preparation, display, or service of foods. They are not required to have the “job title” of manager.

A "Certified Food Manager" is one who has passed a written certification test, which has been approved by the Department, which demonstrates a basic knowledge of food protection practices.

What type of Food Establishments are required to have a Certified Food Manager?

Food service establishments as defined in Section 381.0072, Florida Statutes, are required to meet manager certification requirements, unless otherwise exempted. All establishments required to have a certified food manager shall designate, in writing, the food service manager or managers for each location. The establishments include, but are not limited to:

  • Public and Private Schools using a contracted food service provider (i.e. food workers not employed by the school)
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Mobile Food Units and Caterers that are required to maintain a Department of Health Food Sanitation Certificate
  • Detention facilities

Residential Facilities that are required to maintain a Department of Health food certificate, such as, but not limited to:

  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Non-Residential
  • Hospices
  • Adult Day Cares
  • Intermediate Care Facility for the Developmentally Disabled (ICFDD)
  • Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC)

The following types of food service establishments are exempted from Department of Health manager certification requirements:

  • Bars and lounges
  • Public and private schools (provided that the food service is operated by school employees)
  • Civic Organizations
  • Theaters that are required to maintain a Department of Health food certificate

How do I become a Certified Food Manager?

Please contact the approved test provider for times, dates, and cost of the examination as well as ordering training materials and scheduling a preparation course. Make sure you request the Florida Department of Health, Food Manager Certification test information, since these providers do offer examinations for other food related programs.

To become a certified food manager in compliance with Department of Health requirements, individuals must successfully pass a certification examination administered by any approved Manager Certification Test Provider.


For more information on Food Manager training, visit our main Food Manager training page.