Food Handler Certification

Member $24.95
Non-Member $31.67

This online course is intended for staff who serve food to others and is approved under legislated food training requirements across Canada. All provinces and territories have different regulations for food training requirements and you will receive province-specific content based on your location. 

Certification is valid for five (5) years. 


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Food Handler Certification

This online modular-based program will cover everything that you need to know about food safety including receiving, preparing, and storing food.  After completing this course, you will have comprehensive knowledge of how to safely prepare and serve food to others.

COMPASS-eligible organizations, please be sure to pay for the course registration fee with the third-party training partner. Please check out with your COMPASS code on our page, and follow the instructions in your confirmation email to receive the SARC Member rate that we will reimburse upon success completion of the course. After completion, submit the paid invoice (and certificate of completion) to us for reimbursement.

Please know that once you have completed the course, you will be required to take a supervised exam.

About the Supervised Exam
  • The exam fee is included in the registration fee 
  • If you do not successfully pass the final exam, there is an additional fee of $20 to re-take it, not covered by COMPASS funding 
  • Each person who takes a food safety examination in Canada must provide photo identification 
  • Each person who takes a food safety examination in Canada must be supervised during the exam by an online proctor 

We recommend to successfully take the supervised exam online, that you: 

  • Be in a quiet room, away from others and any possible distractions 
  • Have access to a webcam and microphone 

Learners have 30 days to complete Food Handler Certification. 

Modules include:

Module 1 - Introduction

In this module, you will learn the importance of being food safety-minded.

Module 2 - Public Health Legislation and Local Health Departments

In this module, you will learn the federal, provincial, and municipal agencies and legislation that governs food safety. You will also gain an understanding of the responsibilities of food premises owners/operators and food handlers, as well as the many benefits of following safe food handling practices.

Module 3 - Understanding Micro-Organisms

In this module, you will learn that not all micro-organisms are bad for us. You will gain an understanding of the sources of micro-organisms and the types of pathogenic micro-organisms, as well as how carriers can transmit micro-organisms to food. You will also gain a solid understanding of what bacteria needs in order to grow, what makes food potentially hazardous, and why some people are more likely than others to get sick after eating contaminated food.

Module 4 - Understanding Food-borne Illness

In this module, you will learn what food poisoning really means and the common symptoms of food-borne illness as well as the types. You will also learn how to deal with complaints of food-borne illness.

Module 5 - Time and Temperature Control

In this module, you will learn how and when to calibrate your probe thermometer, and gain an understanding of the stages in the Flow of Food and how to ensure that food remains safe throughout the stages. You will be shown safe methods for thawing frozen foods, what the Danger Zone is and how to minimize the time that potentially hazardous food spends within in, and the safe storage, cooking, cooling, hot-holding, and reheating temperatures for meats and other potentially hazardous foods.

Module 6 - Cross-Contamination Prevention

In this module, you will learn how micro-organisms are transmitted between food, food handlers, and equipment and actions you can take to control this transmission. You will understand the types of cross-contamination, and the importance of keeping kitchen equipment and utensils clean and sanitized between uses. You will also learn the importance of separating raw and ready-to-eat food during storage and preparation, as well as the importance of handwashing.

Module 7 - Food Safety Management System

In this module, you will learn the seven (7) principles of HACCP and how to identify Critical Control Points and how to set limits for them. You will also understand what to monitor and verify in your HACCP system including the documentation and records you will want to create and keep. You will also understand the benefits of implementing a preventative maintenance program.

Module 8 - Construction, Design, and Facilities

In this module, you will learn the importance of discussing your layout and design plans with a public health inspector, as well as what is considered in a good facility layout and design.

Module 9 - Receiving and Storage

In this module, you will learn how to properly receive and store food, as well as legislated food storage requirements.

Module 10 - Displaying, Serving, and Discarding

In this module, you will learn how to properly store clean utensils and self-serve equipment, as well as when to discard food.

Module 11 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

In this module, you will gain an understanding of the importance of cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces and other areas of your premises. You will also learn about manual and mechanical dishwashing methods, how to prepare a proper sanitizing solution, and how to develop a sanitation plan.

Module 12 - Employee Hygiene

In this module, you will learn why it is important to keep your hands clean, some of the ways your hands can become contaminated, and how to properly wash your hands.

Module 13 - Pest Control

In this module, you will learn how to identify signs of a pest infestation, and the different types of pests common to food premises. You will also learn how to properly clean up pest droppings, the importance of having an Integration Pest Management program in place, and what you can do to keep pests out and eliminate them if they are present.

COMPASS funding is available to SARC Regular and Associate Members, as well as Affiliate Members with CLSD funding.


COMPASS funding will cover 25 of your organization’s employees per fiscal year to take the Food Handler Certification course. 

In order to receive this funding, in the form of a reimbursement to the organization, organizations must: 

  1. Register employee(s) at your organization to take the Food Handler Certification course, and use your COMPASS code on the payments page.
  2. Follow the instructions in the confirmation email and pay for the course with our third-party provider
  3. Send a copy of the paid invoice(s), along with Certificate(s) of Completion, including each employee’s email address, to  SARC Learning Central. 
    • SARC will reimburse you at the preferred member rate, $27.69 (inclusive of GST and PST) only
    • SARC will reimburse up to 25 employees(s) under COMPASS
  4. Have the employee complete the immediate session evaluation, which will be emailed to them. 
  5. Have the employee complete the follow-up session evaluation, which will be emailed to them. 

As a requirement of CLSD COMPASS funding, SARC must report on training satisfaction rates. As a result, we ask that all learners complete individual program evaluations immediately upon finishing any training, as well as within three (3) to four (4) months of completion. Your feedback will also be used to ensure that SARC continues to provide the best training possible.

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