Utah food manager license and insurance requirements

Utah food manager license and insurance requirements

Ashley Henshaw
By Ashley Henshaw
Mar 16, 2023
8 min read

With an inviting location and a delicious menu, you’ve prepared your Utah restaurant for a great debut. But before you welcome your first customers, you’ll want to make sure your employees have the required food safety certifications.

In Utah, all restaurants and food businesses must have at least one certified food safety manager on staff. To earn this certification, employees must pass an exam on food safety which has been approved by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.1,2

To learn more about the requirements for Utah food safety manager certification, read this guide covering the following topics:

Who needs a food manager license in Utah?

Nearly all Utah businesses serving food must have at least one full-time staff member with a food safety manager certification. Utah doesn't require the certified food manager to be present during all hours of operation.

If you own a restaurant or food service business but do not have any full-time employees, you’ll need to maintain Utah food manager certification.

A few types of food businesses are exempt from this requirement, including:

  • Temporary event food services approved by a local health department
  • Vendors that only serve commercially pre-packaged foods or beverages
  • Health care facilities
  • Bed and breakfasts that serve only continental breakfast
  • Child care providers 
  • Backcountry food service establishments
  • Special events such as food booths at school sporting events and church functions sponsored by municipal or nonprofit organizations 

Food manager certification vs. food handler license

All restaurant and food business employees who handle, prepare or serve food must complete an accredited food handler training course within 30 days of employment.3

Most employees working in food service must meet the Utah food handler license requirement, including chefs, kitchen staff, bartenders, servers and bussers.

Certified food managers are exempt from the food handler certification requirement. Their duties include overseeing the food handlers and ensuring that staff uses proper food preparation and handling techniques.

Food handlers and food managers help to protect your business. The certification process ensures that they understand how to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.

How to get Utah food manager certification

To obtain food manager certification, Utah employees must pass an exam approved by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.2

The Utah State University Food Safety Manager’s Certificate Program offers one option for fulfilling this requirement. This program includes comprehensive food safety training in addition to a proctored exam. Certifications from this program are not recognized outside of Utah.4

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services also recognizes certification from the following exam providers:

  • 1 AAA Food Manager
  • 360 Training (Learn2Serve).com, Inc.
  • National Registry of Food Safety Professionals
  • National Restaurant Association (ServSafe)
  • Prometric, Inc.
  • StateFoodSafety
  • The Always Food Safe Company, LLC

Employees must earn a score of 70% or higher to pass the exam for Utah food safety manager certification, which covers topics like:5

  • Foodborne illness risks
  • Personal hygiene
  • Cross-contamination and allergens
  • Time and temperature
  • Cleaning and sanitation

Instruction is available to help prepare employees for the exam, but completing a training course is not required for certification.

Utah food manager license fees

You or your employees can take the food protection manager certification exam online or in person if it's through an approved program. 

The exam typically costs around $30 to $50. Those who choose to complete an optional food safety training course can also expect to pay around $70 to $100, including the exam cost.

Utah does not require restaurant owners to cover the cost of food manager certification. Each certificate belongs to the employees, and they are permitted to use it at other businesses if they change jobs.

How long does it take to get a food manager license in Utah?

The food manager certification exam typically takes up to two hours to complete. You or your employees can complete most training courses with an included exam in eight hours or less.

Exam providers issue certificates instantly or by mail. 

Food manager certificate verification

Business owners must keep documentation for certified food safety managers on-site. During inspections by the local health department, authorities may request this information to verify the manager's certification.

Utah certificate renewal requirements

Certified food managers in Utah must renew their certification every three years. To become recertified, they need to pass a food safety exam from an approved provider.5

Utah food manager certification reciprocity 

Food manager certificates issued by an approved program in Utah are recognized statewide. 

If an employee has been certified as a food manager outside the state, they may receive reciprocity if they have a valid certification from one of programs approved by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.4

Insurance requirements for Utah restaurants

Utah business insurance can help to protect your food service establishment from risks you face every day. The following types of insurance coverage are available for Utah restaurants:

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance can help provide coverage if your business is held responsible for certain types of accidents, such as a customer injury or property damage. 

Food service general liability insurance can also include foodborne illness coverage, which may help cover costs if a customer becomes ill after eating food that is contaminated or prepared incorrectly. 

Workers’ Compensation insurance

Utah workers’ compensation insurance can help cover costs like medical expenses and lost wages if an employee is hurt on the job. Most employers in Utah are required by law to provide workers’ comp coverage. 

Commercial Property insurance.

Commercial property insurance can help pay to repair or replace physical business assets in the event of a covered incident, such as a fire or burst pipe. Types of covered property may include commercial buildings, equipment, inventory and furniture. 

Commercial Auto insurance

If you or an employee is involved in an accident while driving a company vehicle, commercial auto insurance can help cover related costs like property damage and medical bills. 

All vehicles in Utah must have minimum auto insurance coverage of $25,000 per person, $65,000 per accident and $15,000 for property damage.6

How NEXT supports Utah restaurant owners

NEXT provides tailored Utah restaurant insurance policies designed for small businesses and self-employed business owners.

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.


1 Utah Health Code: Food Safety Manager Certification Act

2 Food Safety Manager Certification

3 R392-103 Food Handler Training and Certificate 

4 Utah State University Food Safety Managers Certificate Program

5 R392-101 Food Safety Manager Certification

6 Utah Auto Insurance Requirements

Utah food manager license and insurance requirements


Ashley Henshaw
About the author

Ashley Henshaw was a contributing writer at NEXT. She specializes in small business topics, covering everything from insurance and branding to web hosting and cryptocurrency.

Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, AOL City's Best, Citysearch, USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle and Livestrong.

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