Passing the ServSafe Managers Test
So you need to pass the ServSafe Managers test in order to get your food managers certification. Either you are the owner of a food establishment or the manager of one. Or maybe you need this as part of your school curriculum. But it could be just another thing to add to your resume.
The ServSafe food manager is the highest (out of 4) certifications. Basically, it’s this person’s duty to monitor the safety of the food in a foodservice operation. And to instruct other employees on how to do the same. This is usually in addition to other regular duties.
How hard is the ServSafe Managers Test?
The ServSafe Managers test has 90 questions but you’re only graded on 80 of them. Ten of the questions are there just for experimental purposes. The test is multiple choice with 4 possible answers. You have 2 hours to complete the exam and you must score at least 75% in order to pass. The exam is available online and in a written version and both require that a certified proctor be present during testing.
If you have not taken a food safety course or done quite a bit of self-study, you will fail. Unless you have extensive experience in a commercial kitchen or taken an advanced culinary course.
There are new terms to learn. New laws and regulations to be aware of. The process of purchasing and storing food and who are considered reputable suppliers.
You will have to memorize lots of temperature ranges for different foods, regarding cooking and storage. And how long food can be left in different temperatures before it must be thrown out.
You will have to learn about cleaning agents and procedures. And of course, personal hygiene is a big one.
There are a few different illnesses and bacteria/viruses that you will need to memorize too. And also the allergens.
So if you don’t already know all this stuff, get ready for a crash course!
How do I pass the test?
You can take an online course or attend a class. Or you can start reading a lot about the food safety practices that restaurants adhere to.
You can find things online to help you study, but if you’re not going to take a class or an online course, then you should try to get your hands on the latest edition of the ServSafe Manager textbook. Currently the 7th Edition in late 2019.
Of course, you could buy one from the ServSafe website but you don’t have to. Maybe your local public library has one. Check the college, vo-tech and university libraries too, especially if they have a culinary program. Or ask around, maybe a coworker has one. Even if it’s not the current edition usually they are pretty close.
If you need to buy one, check Amazon, there are usually some for sale but the exam voucher is usually missing.
Amazon also has a rental program for the ServSafe Managers Textbook. The listings I saw claim to include the exam answer sheet for $40. But Amazon also does not guarantee that all “CD’s and Additions” will still be in the book rental.
Our website has lots of free resources for you. You can start by taking our ServSafe Practice Test just to get a feel for it. Then if you fail then you can take refresher with our ServSafe Study Guide and try again.
If you go with the online course you can take the official ServSafe Managers course if you like, but you don’t have to. There are other accredited companies offering the same material for a lower price. You just need to make sure the course is accredited by the ANSI and the CFP. (The American National Standards Institute and the Conference for Food Protection).
If you decide to go with taking a class then you will have to find one. There are classes advertised on the official ServSafe website. And there could be classes advertised on your states Restaurant Association website. Sometimes there are classes advertised on your state or local health department website. And if all else fails, just do a Google search for “servsafe class near me”. This is usually your best option for finding a class. Because usually, you will find a small business owner who does this professionally every day. And she can guide you through the entire process and often times hand you a printed ServSafe Managers certificate after the exam. Also, oftentimes there is some competition between a couple of “food safety training” companies in your city and this where you will get the best, fastest, and cheapest service.
If you take a class your instructor will probably handle the exam for you. But if you take an online course or do self-study then you will need to find a proctor to give you the exam.
If you happen to live in California, Texas, Florida or Georgia we have a directory of ServSafe proctors that may be available to administer the exam for you. They are not employees of the Hospitality Training Center and they may not be employees of ServSafe either. Also, they are not free and they set their own fees.