Oregon food handlers card and insurance requirements

Oregon food handlers card and insurance requirements

Alex Dryjowicz
By Alex Dryjowicz
Feb 7, 2024
7 min read

Anyone working with food in a restaurant, cafe, bakery or catering company must have an Oregon food handlers card.

The Oregon Health Authority requires all food handlers in the state to obtain an Oregon food handler card from an approved provider within 30 days of hire.

Find out more about Oregon food handlers certification, including:

Who needs an Oregon food handlers card?

All food service employees involved in food preparation in the state need a food handler certification. Oregon health regulations stipulate that these workers must complete an approved food handler training program within 30 days of employment.

This includes your cooks, waitstaff, dishwashers, bartenders and bussers.

Certified Food Managers are exempt from the state’s food handler license requirements. These employees undergo a different training program and supervise food handlers, ensuring everything meets safety standards.

There are specific situations that can modify the Oregon food handler certification requirements:

  • At a temporary restaurant, only one certified food handler is required. However, they must be on the premises at all times.
  • A charitable or benevolent organization also only needs one food handler with a valid certification card present during food preparation and service.

Certified food handlers can help protect your business while ensuring compliance with Oregon law. Since the topics covered in approved food handling training courses include proper food preparation techniques, employees are better equipped to prepare food safely to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. 

How to get a food handlers card in Oregon

Food service employees must complete a food handling training program approved by the Oregon Health Authority to get a food handler card. Oregon workers must also pass a written assessment at the end of the course with a minimum score of 75% to receive their certification.

Food handling courses offered by approved providers cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Foodborne illness
  • A food handler’s role in foodborne illness
  • The role of management in food safety
  • Handwashing
  • Employee illness
  • Contamination and cross-contamination
  • Temperature control

Food service workers can find a food handler certification course issued by an approved provider on the state’s website. Courses are available both online and in person.

Workers may complete an approved course online or in-person to become certified food handlers. Oregon caps the amount providers can charge for administering the program and issuing certificates at $10.

If you lose your card, you can get a duplicate or replacement for a $5 fee.

Oregon food handlers will receive a physical or printable card once they complete an approved food handler course and pass the exam. Employers must keep proof of their food handlers’ certifications on file.

Oregon food handler cards are valid for three years from the date of issuance. When it’s time for renewal, the process is straightforward — the food handler pays the fee and goes through the program again. Once they’ve done that, they’ll receive a new card.

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

Oregon food service businesses can help protect themselves from different types of risk by having the right Oregon business insurance. Many companies in the state consider these insurance coverage options:

General liability insurance

General liability insurance in Oregon covers your business in case of injuries to non-employees or property damage. For restaurant-specific risks, consider food service general liability insurance. It offers extra protection, such as foodborne illness coverage, which could help protect your business if a customer gets sick from contaminated or incorrectly prepared food.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Most employers in Oregon are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This safeguards your business financially if an employee is injured on the job, covering medical costs and lost wages.

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance can help pay for repairs or replacements of business property damaged by a covered event such as a burst pipe or fire. Some examples of physical assets owners can insure with this coverage include business equipment, inventory, furniture and buildings. 

Commercial auto insurance

If your restaurant uses vehicles, commercial auto insurance is key. It covers medical expenses and lost wages if you or an employee gets into an accident while driving a work vehicle.

Remember, Oregon law requires a minimum auto insurance coverage for all vehicles. Your policy must have at least $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability and $20,000 for property damage liability.

How long to get an Oregon food handlers card?

It typically takes 30 minutes to two hours to get a food handler license. Oregon workers get their certification immediately after completing the course and passing the exam. So, your staff could be certified and ready to go in a single afternoon.

Food handlers card reciprocity in Oregon

For restaurant owners in Oregon, it’s important to note that food handler certificates obtained from any approved provider within Oregon are valid statewide. This means that your employees can work in any county in Oregon with their current certification.

However, food handler cards issued in other U.S. states are not transferable to Oregon. As a result, employees with out-of-state certifications will need to obtain an Oregon-specific food handler card to comply with state regulations.

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

NEXT is 100% dedicated to small businesses and the self-employed. We specialize in Oregon restaurant insurance coverage for restaurant owners like you.

In about 10 minutes, you can get a quote, review insurance coverage options, pick your policies, and download a certificate of insurance. You’ll get 24/7 access to your policy via web and mobile app.

If you have any questions or need guidance, our team of licensed insurance advisors is always ready to help. 

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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