Public health agency for Snohomish County
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Food Worker Cards & Classes
The most essential element of food safety is people. How restaurant and other workers handle food makes a big difference in keeping the public safe from foodborne illness.
You are required to get a food worker card if you:
  • Work with unpackaged food, such as in a restaurant or bar
  • Touch food equipment, such as washing dishes
  • Work at any surface where people put unwrapped food, including grocery store cashiers
All food workers must have a valid food worker card. You can work for up to 14 days before you get your card – if you get food safety training from your employer.
Food worker card classes are available online and in person in Everett. The fee is $10. The card is valid throughout Washington state for two years, and may be renewed for an additional three years.
There are no age requirements for getting a Food Worker Card; anyone who can pass the test can get a card.
Prepare for the class by reviewing the manual in advance:
Contact Info
Phone: 425.339.5250
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; closed from noon to 1:00 pm.
Online Course
Take the online course.
Online training is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Closed Caption. It takes about one hour to go through the online learning and take the test. You must pay the $10 fee by Visa, Mastercard or a debit card with a Visa or Mastercard logo.
Before you log-in to take the class:
  • Use a computer connected to a printer so you can print your own food worker card
  • Turn off any pop-up blockers on your computer’s internet browser – see “Tools”
  • You need Adobe Flash on your computer. You can download it for free.
  • Have your Visa or Mastercard ready – you cannot pay later
If you have any trouble during the online course, contact the Snohomish Health District Food Safety Program at 425.339.5250.
Note: is the only online training program authorized to provide you with a valid food worker card in Snohomish County. Other websites that appear to offer a similar card are not recognized as a valid government-issued permit to work in a food establishment.
Online course FAQs
Q: Can I stop during the online training session and complete it later on?
A: Yes. Your training session is good for 30 days from the date you originally started the training. You can log back in and just click on the “Complete” button to finish the training any time during this 30 day period. After the 30 days your training session will expire and you will need to start back at the beginning. If you stop during the test, you will be required to retake the entire test.
Q: My session has timed out. Now what do I do?
A: The online training will time out after about 30 minutes if there is no activity. Simply, sign out and then log back in again to complete the training.
Q: How do I print or reprint a card?
A: You can print or reprint a card for free if it is within four days of completing the test. After the four days, there is a $10 charge to print your card if you're from Snohomish County. Other counties have different fees. Go back to the beginning of the online course, select the Login button and sign back in. Be sure to use the exact same registration information you originally signed in with.
Q: I am renewing an existing card. How can I get a card that is valid for three years?
A: If you have an unexpired Washington State Food Worker Card, bring your old card and the card you received online into the Snohomish Health District and we will issue you a three-year card. If your old card has expired, you will only be able to receive a two-year card. You can receive a five-year card if you have completed an approved advanced training course such as Serve Safe Food Managers Course.
Q: Why does it cost $10?
A: The $10 fee is set in state regulation, Washington Administrative Code 246-217-025. The fee is used by local health departments to defray the costs of food worker training and education, administration of the program, and testing of applicants.
Q: Do I have to sign my card once I print it?
A: Yes. Your signature is required on your valid food worker card.

Food Worker Classes
Classes last about 90 minutes and are offered in English and Spanish. Booklets and tests are offered in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Vietnamese.
Cost is $10 and must be paid by cash or debit. Bring your old card (or a copy) with you if you are renewing for a 3-year card.
You do not need to register ahead of time. Just arrive 15 minutes early to ensure time for parking and signing in. There is no admittance after the class starts.
Please leave young children at home.
Class Schedule
Snohomish Health District Auditorium
3020 Rucker Ave.
Everett, WA 98201-3900
  • 2:30 PM - 1st Tuesday of each month
  • 10:00 AM - 3rd Tuesday of each month
Spanish Language Classes – En Espanol
Snohomish Health District Auditorium
3020 Rucker Ave.
Everett, WA 98201-3900
  • 10:00 am - el primer martes de cada mes
Off-Site Classes
Health District staff can provide group training off-site if desired. For a class to be offered at your location, you must have a minimum of 20 people. We generally schedule classes one to two months in advance. Contact our office to request a class: 425.339.5250 or
Food Worker Card FAQs
I need to renew my Food Worker Card. Do I have to take the class and test again?
YES. To renew a Food Worker Card you must take the class and test again. To receive a 3-year card, you need to renew your old card within 60 days before the expiration date.
I have lost my card, how can I get a replacement card?
For a replacement card, come to Snohomish Health District’s Environmental Health Division office, 3020 Rucker Ave, Suite 104, Everett. You will receive a copy of the valid card with the original test date for $10, payable by cash only.
If you originally received your food worker card online, go to to print a duplicate - it’s free within four days of taking the course or $10 by Visa or Mastercard if later.
I have a child or student with special needs. Can I read the test to them?
Yes. We are very flexible and want to meet the needs of each person who needs a Food Worker Card.
I am hearing impaired. What are my options for getting a Food Worker Card?
We have several options to help meet your needs:
  1. You can take the online course.
  2. You could bring an interpreter or friend to class to help guide you through the test.
  3. You can email or call us ahead of time and request for the health district to organize an American Sign Language interpreter to come to an on-site class of your choosing.
I am a cashier, dishwasher, busser, bagger, etc. Am I required to get a Food Worker Card?
Yes, cashiers are required to have a food permit. This is a state requirement and came about as most grocery stores have expanded to include food preparation areas such as delis, bakeries and prepared produce. As these stores usually employ hundreds of people who could conceivably be working anywhere in the store, it is a safety precaution that all employees are covered with a food worker permit.
Even cashiers and baggers handle raw and ready-to-eat foods and have the ability to cross- contaminate through foods, hand, illness, etc.

Manager and Person In Charge Trainings
State food regulations require that at least one designated person in charge (PIC – a manager, supervisor or shift lead)) must be present during all hours of operation for food establishments. The PIC must be able to show a “demonstration of knowledge” of the food code and food safety principles.
Snohomish Health District offers two types of managers training: a two-hour Person In Charge course and a 16-hour certification class, as well as a manager recertification class.
Training topics include:
  • When to exclude sick food workers
  • Proper cooking, hot-holding, cold-holding, and cooling of potentially hazardous foods
  • Preventing cross-contamination
  • Personal hygiene and equipment sanitation practices
Person In Charge Class
Managers, supervisors and others in charge of food service may be referred by Snohomish Health District staff to our Person In Charge (PIC) class for additional training. This class helps ensure compliance with food safety critical items and best practices. The class is free and lasts about two hours, including taking a short test. There is no preregistration required.
The PIC class is held at 10 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in the auditorium of the Snohomish Health District, 3020 Rucker Ave, Everett.
A PIC class in Spanish is offered at 10 a.m. on the third Tuesday of the month in Room 304 of the Snohomish Health District, 3020 Rucker Ave, Everett.
Persona a Cargo Clase en Español
La clase es a las 10 am del tercer martes de cada mes, en la habitación 304. La clase dura alrededor de 2 horas. No hay ningún costo por esta clase.
Manager Certification
This more intensive class has the benefit of enabling food establishments to save up to 25% on food permit inspection fees. Completing a class successfully qualifies you for a 5-year Food Worker Card. You must be able to attend all of the sessions. Classes are typically scheduled in March and October.
9:00 am to 1:00 pm Wednesday, March 5, 12, 19, 26 (16 hours)
Wednesday, October 1, 8, 15 and 22 (16 hours)
Registration deadline: First day of class
Cost: $175 includes all materials
Refund policy: Refunds less a $20 processing fee up to a week before the class. Another person may be substituted for the original registrant(s) at no cost.
Curso de Certificacion de Gerentes - Spanish Manager’s Certification Course
Temas a tratar:
  • Actuales problemas de la seguridad alimentaria.
  • Causas de los brotes de enfermedades transmitidas por los alimentos y como evitarlas.
  • Proporcionar alimentos seguros de la granja hasta la mesa.
  • Técnicas practicas para capacitar a su personal y obtener el máximo rendimiento de sus inspecciones.
Beneficios del curso:
  • Obtenga una tarjeta de Certificación de Gerentes de 5 años.
  • Aprenda como conducir su auto-inspecciones.
  • Sea elegible para el programa de auto-inspección y reducir la cuota del permiso de operación anual para su establecimiento hasta un 25%.
Curso de cuatro días
9:00 am - 1:00 pm cada día
Miércoles - Avril 2, 9, 16, 23, 2014 curso de 4 días
Por favor llegue temprano para encontar estacionamiento en la calle
Politica de rembolso: Rembolso en su totalidad, menos $20 tarifa de procesamiento hasta una semana antes de la clase. Otra persona puede ser sustituida por el registrante original antes de la clase sin costo alguno.
Manager Recertification
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 2nd
Wednesday, November 5th
Cost: $132 with textbook, $79 without textbook
Refund policy: Refunds less a $20 processing fee up to a week before the class. Another person may be substituted for the original registrant(s) at no cost.

Last Reviewed and updated 6/25/2012