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What is ServSafe Certification?

One of the ways for restaurant managers and owners to ensure that employees and customers are able to work and enjoy service safely is by requiring servers, bartenders, hostesses, cooks, and managers to complete ServSafe Certification®.

Professional training and certification enhances every field, and the restaurant industry is able to take advantage of these courses to further employees’ knowledge and skill as well.

Benefits of Certification

The National Restaurant Association is an organization focused on the delivery of educational, training, and professional development opportunities for individuals in the restaurant industry. One of the programs it offers, ServSafe, provides various courses for both front of the house and back of the house food service employees to complete in order to learn best practices in the areas of food handling, alcohol service, food protection management, and food allergens. The training sessions are helpful for ensuring that restaurants and other food service establishments meet state requirements in safety, as well as for assuring guests that food and beverage products are being handled and served according to recommended practices.

Certification courses can be easily completed online, and the National Restaurant Association also provides option for in-person training.

Food Handling and Food Protection Manager

Every employee in a restaurant who handles food in any way, from preparation to serving, can gain valuable information from the food handling certification course. The food handling program includes study of food safety, time and temperature control, prevention of cross contamination, personal hygiene, and safe food preparation.

Managers and head cooks, in particular, can be prepared for all types of scenarios with the food protection manager training. In addition to studying the topics in the food handling certification course, managers will also review and test on food safety regulations, hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP), and more.


Alcohol service includes immense responsibility and liability for both employees and businesses. Not acting in accordance with laws and regulations for who and how to serve alcoholic beverages can result in fines, lawsuits, loss of liquor licenses, and even imprisonment. Alcohol training and certification through ServSafe helps bartenders, servers, and managers understand concepts such as how much alcohol can be safely consumed, how to recognize when a customer should not continue to drink alcohol, and how to handle difficult situations involving someone who has had too much to drink.


Although not yet required in every state, certification through ServSafe for allergen training ensures that employees are best prepared to handle any dietary restriction requests or food allergy notifications from guests. The number of people who have food allergies and sensitivities continues to increase, and restaurants must train employees to understand concepts such as cross contamination and how to handle a food allergen emergency.

ServSafe Certification prepares restaurant and hospitality employees with the expertise needed to safely prepare and serve food products to patrons. Completion of each of the four certifications offered ensures that restaurants are following industry best practices in delivery of all products.

See also: Top 10 Best Culinary Schools in Florida 2016