Hi tech food safety: Workers can now get food-handler cards online

Whatcom County is joining 29 other counties in the state allowing residents who work in the food industry to obtain their required state food worker cards online.

“This change will provide a more convenient way for food workers to obtain their training, and employers will be able to more quickly ensure that their workers receive the required training.” Regina Delahunt, Whatcom County health director, said in an April 16 press release. “This new training method will also result in more efficient health department operations by reducing the number of visits to the office by 50 or more per day.”

The class and test may be taken in eight different languages. Upon completing the class and passing the test, students can print out food worker cards for immediate use.

The class is available at www.foodworkercard.wa.gov. Whatcom County residents using the service should first log in and then select “Whatcom County.”

The new service replaces the in-person training offered by Whatcom County heath officials to more that 9,000 people each year.

The online class is being made available to food workers  thanks to a partnership with Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, which built and maintains the site.

Key information for food workers:

-Food worker training and testing will no longer be available on site at the county health department.

-Online training is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Cambodian and by closed caption.

-Typical users take approximately one hour to complete the training and testing.

-The cost is $10, payable after the test in passed with a VISA, MasterCard or Discover card, or a debit card with the VISA or MasterCard logo.

-If a food worker doesn’t have a credit or debit card, the training and testing can still be completed online but must be paid for in cash at the health department’s office, 509 Girard St. in Bellingham. The food-worker card will be issued after payment. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

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