Nevada food handlers card and insurance requirements

Nevada food handlers card and insurance requirements

Alex Dryjowicz
By Alex Dryjowicz
Feb 6, 2024
9 min read

A Nevada food handlers card could be a mandatory food safety certification for your restaurant, cafe, bakery, catering company or other food service business.

Nevada’s rules vary by location. Las Vegas and other cities within the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), for example, require it.

Read ahead to learn about Nevada food handlers card mandates, tests, training and more, including:

Who needs a Nevada food handlers card?

Local health departments in Nevada determine whether employees in each county need to get a food handlers card. Nevada doesn’t have a state-wide food handler requirement, but certain areas mandate a food handler card.

A key example is the Southern Nevada Health District, overseeing Clark County, where all food workers must be certified. This area represents about 74% of the state’s population. Here, a food handler includes anyone who handles, stores, transports, prepares, serves or sells food, as well as those who come into contact with utensils used for food preparation and service.

In Clark County, servers, kitchen staff, bartenders, bussers, hosts and on-site event coordinators at food service establishments need a food handler card. However, not everyone in the food service industry is required to have one.

Some individuals who work in food service businesses are not considered food handlers in Nevada. Neither the state nor the SNHD requires the following workers to have a food handler card:

  • Employees who only handle food that is sealed and packaged for direct sale to the customer. 
  • Workers who occasionally and incidentally handle food but whose job description does not include food handling as a regular responsibility.
  • Individuals with limited food handling responsibilities, such as cashiers, salespeople, stock clerks, warehouse workers, dockworkers, delivery personnel and maintenance staff. 

Although only some counties require all food handlers to earn a certification, Nevada has state-wide rules for food protection managers. A food protection manager acts as a supervisor for food safety and undergoes a separate certification process.

Every food establishment in Nevada must have an ANSI-accredited certified food protection manager on site to supervise food handling, according to the Department of Health and Human Services Nevada. If your restaurant or food service business doesn’t have employees, you must earn this certification to maintain your health permit.

If you operate outside of Clark County, check with your local health department to determine whether any food handler requirements apply. Even when not required by law, employing certified food handlers can help protect your business. Since the certification process covers proper food handling and preparation techniques, employees can better minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

How to get a food handlers card in Nevada

If you’re a food service worker in Nevada but outside of Clark County, getting your food handler certification is straightforward. You can complete a brief online or in-person training course, with many programs offering an instant certificate upon completion.

However, the process is a bit different for food workers in Clark County. You must get an official food handler card through the SNHD. If you’re applying for the first time, you’ll have to make an appointment and take a food safety test in person at one of their locations. 

The SNHD food handler license test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions. You’ll need to earn a passing score of 70% or higher to receive your card. 

Don’t worry about preparation materials — the SNHD offers free online course materials for food handlers to study before the exam. There are also online Nevada food handler card practice tests available to help you prepare for the exam.

Food handler courses in Nevada cover various food safety topics, such as:

  • Handwashing and personal hygiene
  • Thermometer calibration and verification
  • Food product receiving and storage
  • Food holding temperature
  • Avoiding cross-contamination
  • Cleaning and sanitizing equipment

After passing the certification exam, Clark County food handlers receive an official Food Handler Safety Training Card from the SNHD. As an employer, you are responsible for keeping a copy of your workers’ food handler cards on site.

If workers outside the SNHD’s jurisdiction complete a food safety course, they may also receive a certificate through the training provider. Keeping records of food handler certifications in Nevada outside of Clark County is not required, but it’s encouraged.

In Clark County, first-time food handler cards are valid for three years from the date they were issued. Although the initial exam must be in person, food handlers can renew their SNHD food handler card online.

The renewal test has ten multiple-choice questions. You’ll need to score at least 75% to pass. Once you pay the $20 renewal fee, you’ll receive a new card valid for another three years.

How much is a food handlers card in Nevada?

Getting certified as a food handler in Southern Nevada is affordable and convenient. The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) food handler card costs just $20. If you don’t pass the exam on your first try, the retest fee is only $5. Plus, all necessary training materials are available on the SNHD website at no cost.

Food handler courses are also available in Nevada for workers outside Clark County. However, since the state of Nevada does not require this training statewide, these courses vary in price and won’t provide you with an official state license. It’s more about gaining knowledge than fulfilling a legal requirement.

Insurance for Nevada restaurants, caterers, cafes and food service businesses

Nevada business insurance can help protect your business from the daily risks you face. Many owners of Nevada restaurants and food service businesses consider a combination of these insurance options: 

General liability insurance

General liability insurance is key for financial protection in case you’re liable for an accident causing property damage or injury to someone else.

Restaurant owners may want to consider food service general liability insurance for industry-specific coverage. For example, it safeguards against scenarios like a customer getting sick from contaminated or improperly prepared food.

Workers’ compensation insurance

If an employee gets hurt on the job, you’ll want Nevada workers’ compensation insurance. A policy can help provide important coverage for lost wages, medical bills and other related expenses following an at-work injury or illness. It’s a requirement for most private employers in the Silver State.

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance can help cover costs for repairing or replacing physical business assets after a covered event, such as a fire or water damage from a burst pipe. Some examples of business property this insurance may cover include inventory, equipment, furniture and commercial buildings.

Commercial auto insurance

If you or an employee is involved in an accident while driving a company vehicle, commercial auto insurance can step in to protect your business financially. Commercial auto policies cover medical expenses, property damage and other related costs.

In Nevada, all vehicles must have minimum auto insurance coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and $20,000 for property damage.

How long does it take to get a Nevada food handlers card?

The process to earn an SNHD food handler safety card is straightforward. Workers need to pass the 20-question multiple-choice exam. There’s no need to rush — the exam has no time limit, but most workers complete the exam within 30 minutes.

Studying for the SNHD food handler exam or completing a food safety course in a county other than Clark can take up to two hours.

How NEXT helps support Nevada restaurants, cafes, caterers and food service

NEXT has customized Nevada restaurant insurance policies made for small businesses and self-employed owners.

In just about 10 minutes, you can get a quote, review coverage options, select your policies and download your certificate of insurance

Plus, our team of licensed insurance advisors is ready to help if you have any questions along the way.

Start a free quote with NEXT.

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Alex Dryjowicz
About the author

Alex Dryjowicz is a copywriter, content creator and regular contributor to NEXT Insurance. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and small business owners across all industries succeed.

She also enjoys intercultural communications and all things scuba diving.

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