Oregon food handler card and insurance requirements

Oregon food handler card and insurance requirements

Alex Dryjowicz
By Alex Dryjowicz
Jan 18, 2023
7 min read

Thinking of opening a restaurant in Oregon? Your future employees will be considered Oregon food handlers and will need the proper license or certification to work with food. 

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.1

Find out more about Oregon food handler certification in this guide, including the following:

Who needs a food handler card in Oregon?

All food service employees in the state involved in food preparation 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.

Examples of food service employees that need an Oregon food handler card include 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 to ensure safe practices.

Each food service business in Oregon needs a food protection manager. If your business has no employees, you will need to complete this food manager certification.1

There are some other exemptions to the Oregon food handler certification requirements, such as:

  • 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 an Oregon food handler license

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:1

  • 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.2

Food handler certification verification

Oregon food handlers will receive a physical or printable food handler 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 license fees

Workers may complete an approved course online or in person to become certified food handlers. Oregon permits program providers to charge a maximum of $10 for administering the program and issuing a certificate.

The fee for a duplicate or replacement food handler card cannot exceed $5.1

How long does it take to get a food handler license?

It takes between 30 minutes to two hours to get a food handler license. Oregon workers earn their certification immediately after completing the course and passing the exam.

Oregon food handler certificate renewal requirements

Oregon food handler cards are valid for three years from the date of issuance. Once a certificate expires, the food handler must complete the program again and pay the fee to receive a new card. 

Food handler license reciprocity

Food handler certificates issued by an approved provider in any Oregon county are valid statewide. Food handler cards issued in other U.S. states are not recognized in Oregon.2

Insurance requirements for Oregon restaurants

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 can help provide important coverage if your business is held responsible for accidents that cause injury to someone other than you or an employee or property damage.

Food service general liability insurance can offer additional coverage for restaurant-specific risks 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

Oregon workers’ compensation insurance can help protect your business financially if an employee gets hurt at work. Most employers in Oregon are required to have workers’ comp coverage. 

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

Commercial auto insurance can help provide coverage for medical expenses and lost wages if you or an employee gets into an accident while driving a work vehicle. 

All vehicles in Oregon must have minimum auto insurance coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and $20,00 for property damage.3

How NEXT Insurance supports Oregon food handlers

NEXT provides tailored Oregon restaurant insurance coverage for your needs. We’re 100% dedicated to small businesses and the self-employed.

It only takes about 10 minutes to get a quote, review your coverage options, choose your policies and download a certificate of insurance

Our team of licensed insurance advisors is standing by to assist you if you have any questions along the way.

Start an instant quote online today.

Do you need food handler certification in another U.S. state? Visit our summary of food handler license requirements in every state.


1 Oregon Health Authority 333-175

2 Food Handler Cards

Minimum Insurance Requirements

Oregon food handler card and insurance requirements


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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