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Frequently Asked Questions

How does one go about becoming a certified food safety manager?

Complete an 8-hour food safety prep course online or in a classroom setting. Successfully complete an exam in person that is approved by the Wisconsin Health and Family Services (HFS) Department.

The National Restaurant Association(ServSafe®), Prometric®, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals® and the Tavern League of Wisconsin are all approved. The Tavern League uses the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals exam.

How long is the Wisconsin Food Manager certificate good for?

The certificate is valid for five years. The certification must be renewed prior to it's expiration. See below.

Who is required to be certified?

Section 12-201.11(A)(1) of the Wisconsin Food Code requires that the operator or manager of a restaurant that is new or has changed hands shall become certified in safe food handling practices within 90 days after opening.

What happens if the only certified food manager leaves the establishment?

Food establishments which are not in compliance because of employee turnover or other loss of a certified manager, shall have 90 days from the date of the loss of a certified manager to comply with the Food Code, or provide documentation that the person designated to be the certified food manager will become certified within the time specified in this subparagraph.

How do I get re-certified if I have previously passed the test?

Initial certifications are valid for 5 years and then must be renewed. Section 12-401.11 Recertification (A) of the Wisconsin Food Code states; A certificate issued under this section may be renewed within six months of expiration, if the certified manager successfully completes a recertification training course approved by the Wisconsin HFS.

The recertification training course shall be completed prior to issuance of a new certificate. Application for recertification shall be made on a form provided by the HFS. The application form shall be submitted to the HFS at least 30 days before expiration of the certificate, along with evidence of successful completion of the recertification training course and payment of a $10.00 recertification fee.

Persons who do not renew their certificate as specified, shall be required to be certified by passing the initial certification exam.