The First Principles certificate program, available online and in a classroom setting, provides food handlers with the knowledge and skills they need to safely handle foods for human consumption. Successful completion of the program assures food managers, regulators and trainers that the certificate holder has completed a basic course in food safety. The First Principles course and assessment is based on substantial review and analysis of the current state of knowledge, regulations, and requirements in the field of food safety as reflected in the FDA Food Code, professional literature, and industry practice and is recommended for people involved in the preparation, handling, serving and displaying of food.
The First Principles program is comprehensive and covers the following areas:
- Foodborne Illness
- Time and Temperature
- Personal Hygiene
- Preventing Food Contamination
Cleaning and Sanitizing
- Common Problems and Solutions (e.g., facility layout and pest control)
For more information on the intended learning outcomes and the program, please see page 1 of the Candidate Information Sheet.
The online version of the First Principles for Food Handlers certificate program is accredited by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) against the ASTM E2659-18 standard. As a result of this accreditation, the online certificate program is recognized in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, and Texas, and any state that recognizes food handler programs accredited by ANSI. We also offer a version of the program approved in the state of Florida.
National Registry does not accept commercial support of its certificate program activities.
- Complete all training.
- Pass assessment. The minimum requirement for the online course is to complete the course and pass the assessment with a minimum of 70%.
There will be no ongoing requirements for certificate renewal.
Certificate vs Certification
National Registry’s First Principles for Food Handlers program is a certificate program for food handlers, not a food manager certification. The online version of the First Principles certificate program is accredited by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) against the ASTM E2659-18 standard.
An assessment-based certificate program is a non-degree granting educational program consisting of:
- a learning event or series of events designed to educate or train individuals to achieve speciﬁed learning outcomes within a deﬁned scope, and
- a system designed to ensure individuals receive a certiﬁcate only after veriﬁcation of successful completion of all program requisites including but not limited to an assessment of learner attainment of intended learning outcomes.
An assessment-based certificate is NOT a certificate of attendance or participation, which are provided to individuals who have attended or participated in classes, courses, or other education/training programs or events but did not have to demonstrate accomplishment of the intended learning outcomes.
Check with your local jurisdiction about the requirements for a food manager certification versus a food handler certificate program.