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Food Safety Changes - Food Service Managers

Changes to Food Safety Certification and Recertification Requirements -
Food Service Managers

The Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act (410 ILCS 625), amended by SB1495 and passed into law on August 27, 2013, changes the existing training and certification requirements for food safety managers, as well as establishes food handler training requirements. (Click here for the Food Handler requirements.)

As a provision of the law, the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) will no longer offer the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC) Exam after December 31, 2013. After that date, only Conference for Food Protection approved exams will be allowed. Effective July 1, 2014, two more provisions go into effect; the training hour requirement for first time sanitation certification is reduced from 16 hours to 8 hours inclusive of the exam, and the recertification of a food service sanitation manager must be accomplished by completing an 8 hour training course, inclusive of the exam, and passing an ANSI-CFP accredited exam with a minimum grade of 75%. This means that those taking sanitation certification for the first time and those renewing certificates are attending the same 8 hour sanitation class.

The Illinois Department of Public Health will allow reciprocity of CFP approved manager certifications for individuals who have moved to or began working in Illinois 6 months prior to applying for reciprocity. The reciprocal Illinois certificate shall expire on the same date as the presented certificate.

The ServSafe Program
The ServSafe program is developed by the National Restaurant Association with the help of foodservice industry experts who face the same risks you do every day. You can feel confident that ServSafe’s years of experience and inside knowledge of the foodservice industry are at the core of the courses, exams and materials.
Click to access ServSafe Sanitation Certification training program information.

Key Provisions- Manager Food Safety Certification:

  • IL Department of Health (IDPH) will no longer offer the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification (FSSMC) Exam after December 31, 2013.
  • After January 1, 2014 only Conference for Food Protection approved exams will be allowed.
  • Effective July 1, 2014 the training hour requirement for first time sanitation certification is reduced from 16 hours to 8 hours inclusive of the exam.
  • Effective July 1, 2014 recertification of a food service sanitation manager certification must be accomplished by completing an 8 hour training course, inclusive of the exam, and passing an ANSI-CFP accredited exam with a minimum grade of 75%.
  • This means that those taking sanitation certification for the first time and those renewing certificates are attending the same 8 hour sanitation class. 
  • IL Department of Public Health will allow reciprocity of CFP approved manager certifications for individuals who have moved to or began working in Illinois 6 months prior to applying for reciprocity. The reciprocal Illinois certificate shall expire on the same date as the presented certificate.

The Illinois Department of Health, in conjunction with the FSSMC work group, is currently working on rules that will address specific requirements to these changes. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

ServSafe provides both ANSI-CFP accredited food safety Manager Exams and ANSI accredited Food Handler training programs to meet the requirements of the law.

FAQs

1. How can I renew my current certificate?
Certificates may be renewed by attending an approved 8 hour Food Service Sanitation Manager class.  Now that the training requirements are the same for first - time certification and recertification, everyone attends the same 8 hour sanitation class.

2. What is the last date that I can use a state of IL FSSMC exam?
The IDPH will offer the state exam up to December 31, 2013. After January 1, 2014 an ANSI-CFP accredited exam must be used.

3. What is the last date that I offer a state of IL FSSMC exam for a retake?
Students who originally took a state exam and failed have 6 months to retake the IL FSSMC exam. The Instructor can request a state exam provided it is in the allotted 6 month retake period. The retake exam will be available until June 30, 2014. An instructor can also provide a retake with an ANSI-CFP Exam.

4. What is the pass rate for a Manager exam in IL?
Students are still required to pass an ANSI-CFP accredited exam with a 75% score.

5. Is the IDPH still issuing an IL State Certificate?
Yes, the IDPH is working on procedures to expedite the certificate process, including simplifying the application and payment process. In order for the IDPH to process the state certificate, Instructors will still be required to complete and return the IDPH scantrons with the exam grade from the ANSI-CFP accredited provider bubbled in for each student.

6. How much is the IL State Certificate?
The IDPH will charge $35 for each new and renewed FSSMC certificate and $10 for each replacement certificate. This $35 is for processing the FSSMC certificate only. You are also responsible for any costs required to use and administer an ANSI-CFP approved exam.

7. Who are the ANSI-CFP accredited exam providers?
ServSafe (National Restaurant Association) provides an ANSI-CFP Accredited Exam.

8. How long is an ANSI-CFP accredited certification valid for?
ANSI-CFP certifications issued in the state of IL are valid for 5 years.

9. When can I start teaching an 8 hour course?
Beginning July 1, 2014, you can start teaching an 8 hour course inclusive of the exam. Prior to July 1, 2014, you must continue teaching a 16 hour course with a state approved agenda.

10. Do I have to submit a new training syllabus to the IDPH prior to teaching an 8 hour course?
Yes, every active instructor will need to submit a new syllabus prior to teaching the 8 hour course. More information on a state approved syllabus or how to submit a new syllabus for approval will be available in Spring 2014.

11. Do I still have to maintain my Illinois Instructor Certification?
Yes, you will still be required to maintain your instructor certification with the IDPH. At this time, the instructor certification requirements are being reviewed by the FSSMC workgroup and requirements may change.

12. Will new instructors still have to be approved by the IDPH?
Yes, anyone wishing to teach a course in Illinois and have their students be eligible for a state certificate will have to become an IL approved instructor. New instructors will need to complete an instructor application and take an instructor exam in Springfield, IL.

13. I am an Illinois Instructor. Where can I find more information about the law changes?
The IDPH encourages Illinois instructors to check the IDPH web portal discussion board for more information and updates as the IDPH and FSSMC work group finalizes changes to these requirements.

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