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How long does ServSafe certification last?

So how long is your ServSafe certificate good for? The short answer is that you could remain certified for up to 10 years without needing to take another exam. Or you may need to retake the exam every 3 years in order to stay certified. It all depends on which ServSafe certificate you have and which jurisdiction you work in. 

You can find these same answers on the official ServSafe website, but you will probably think our website is easier to understand.

There are several different ServSafe certificates and each is good for a different length of time

Your city or state may require different certification periods that override ServSafe

Your city or state may have a “re-certification” program

You may qualify for a “grace period”

How long is the ServSafe Manager certificate good for?

The ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification is valid for a period of 5 (five) years. After 5 years you will have to pass another exam to maintain your certification. You do NOT have to complete a training course, you only need to pass the exam.

Although your ServSafe Food Protection Manager certificate expires after 5 years, your local license may expire sooner than that. Some state and local jurisdictions and company policies will only recognize the certification as valid for three years like the District of Columbia, Maryland, and parts of Virginia.

You may or may not need to keep your ServSafe certificate current in order to stay compliant with your local regulations, but usually, you do not. Check with your state’s health department and the internal policies of your workplace for complete information.

How long is the ServSafe Handlers certificate good for?

The ServSafe Food Handlers Certification is valid for a period of 3 (three) years. After 3 years you will need to pass another exam, also called a food handlers assessment. You do NOT need to complete another training, but individual exams aren’t available without also purchasing the training course. So maybe you would want to complete the training anyway, just as a refresher.

Although your ServSafe food handler certificate expires after 3 years, your local “food handlers card” may expire sooner or later than ServSafe. You may or may not need to keep your ServSafe certificate current in order to stay compliant with your local regulations, but usually, you do not. Check with your state’s health department and the internal policies of your workplace for complete information.

How long is the ServSafe Alcohol certificate good for?

The ServSafe Alcohol certification is valid for a period of 3 (three) years. After 3 years you will need to complete another training course and pass the exam in order to maintain your certification. ServSafe alcohol exams are only available for purchase with the training course. Exams are available for re-testing in the event that you fail, but you must have completed the course in order to re-test.

Although your ServSafe Alcohol certificate expires after 3 years, your local license may expire sooner or later than ServSafe. Several states have additional testing and licensing requirements, such as the BASSET program in Illinois. Check with your local health department for more details regarding the expiration of your certificate.

How long is the ServSafe Allergens certificate good for?

The ServSafe Allergens certification is valid for a period of 5 (five) years. You will need to retake the exam (also called an assessment) before it expires in order to maintain your certification status with ServSafe. You do NOT need to complete another training course but the assessment is not available for purchase individually and must be purchased along with the course.

Although your ServSafe Allergens certificate expires after 5 years, your local license may have a different time frame. Check with your local health department for more information regarding the expiration of your certificate.

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