Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Way to Find FSSMC Courses in Illinois

If you are wanting to become a certified food handler in Illinois and are wondering where to find courses in your area, this task has now become much, much easier. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has recently launched an on-line course finder on the IDPH home page which makes is much easier for individuals to find courses for both the 5-hour Refresher Course and the 15-hour Cerification Course in their area.

Simply log on to the IDPH website ( and scroll down until you see on the right hand side the box that says "Food Sanitation Managers Certification Courses." Click on this box and you are now brought to a page with the map of Illinois counties. Now you can search by county, by IDPH Region (hit on the blue circle and you'll see all the courses offered in that part of the state) or by your favorite instructor. When you find the class that you'd like to take, simply call the instructor to find out more details.
In Illinois, there are three ways a person can be certified as a food service sanitation manager:
  1. Complete a Department approved 15-hour FSSMC course, successfully pass a state examination with a score of at least 75 percent and pay a $35 certificate fee to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  2. Obtain a written waiver from IDPH for a course you have taken elsewhere. Then, complete the Illinois FSSMC examination with a score of at least 75 percent and pay the $35 certificate fee to IDPH. A person may qualify for a course waiver if he/she has completed a course that was at least 15 hours in length and contained, at a minimum, the same material content as the Illinois course. The course must have been completed within the last five years.
  3. Qualify for a certificate through reciprocity. If a person holds a food service manager certificate issued by the Chicago Department of Public Health, submit a copy, along with a completed FSSMC request form, to IDPH and ask that an Illinois food service sanitation manager certificate be issued through reciprocity. Send no money with the FSSMC request form. After the Department verifies the authenticity of your certificate from the city of Chicago, you will be mailed a FSSMC application, which should be completed and returned to IDPH along with the $35 certificate fee.
Until next time...

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