The Ohio Department of Health’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all Ohioans by preventing disease, promoting good health and assuring access to quality care. The Certification in Food Protection Program (CFPP) supports this mission by establishing standards for education and training provided to food managers to promote food safety practices for preventing foodborne illness.
The CFPP is overseen by the Director of Health, who is responsible for approving CFPP courses and providers in the State of Ohio, and for certifying individuals in food protection.
The following document was established as a guideline to provide a foundation for the evaluation of instructors, uniform course content, and certifying individuals in food protection.
Questions related to the Certification in Food Protection Program or this document can be addressed to:
Ohio Department of Health
BEHRP Food Safety Program
246 N High St
Columbus, Ohio 43215.
SECTION I: DEFINITIONS
Certification means the process of training and testing to assure an individual has achieved a level of competency in skills and knowledge of food safety necessary to be certified in food protection.
Certified in Food Protection means an individual who has successfully completed an approved Manager Certification in Food Protection course and passed a Manager Food Protection Certification Examination.
Certification Provider means an organization, individual, company, or agency who has received approval from the Ohio Department of Health to provide an approved course and/or proctor an approved examination for certification in food protection in the State of Ohio.
Food Protection Certification Examination means an examination administered by an accredited certification organization that complies with the criteria set by the Conference for Food Protection standards for accreditation of a food protection manager certification program.
Instructor means an individual whose education, background, and work experience are in accordance with the provisions of Administrative Code 3701-21-25.
Proctor means an individual who is responsible for the administration of an approved manager certification examination as specified in Administrative Code 3701-21-25.
SECTION II: CERTIFICATION APPROVALS
A. Courses of Study
1. An application to have a certification in food protection course of study approved shall include the following:
(a) The applicant's name, address, email address, and telephone number; and
(b) A copy of all course materials, such as student manuals, instructor notebooks, access to interactive computer program, videos, handouts, etc.
2. The core content of manager certification in food protection course of study curricula shall include the content specified in Appendix B to Administrative Code 3701-21-25.
B. Course Providers
An application to become approved by the Director of Health to offer a CFPP shall include the following:
- The applicant's name, address, telephone number, and email address;
- Name of the course to be used;
- A detailed agenda that identifies the core content as specified in Appendix B to Administrative Code 3701-21-25;
- A description of any methods of training to be used, such as classroom instruction, guest speakers, interactive computer programming, interactive video, or distance learning (online courses);
- The names of all course instructors and verification that the instructors possess the qualifications described in the provision of this program (Section II (C));
- The names of all examination proctors and documentation that the proctors possess approval from the examination developer to proctor the examination; and
- The name of examination to be used. Certification examinations must be administered by an accredited certification organization that complies with the criteria set by the Conference for Food Protection standards (April 2016) for accreditation of a food protection manager certification program.
To meet the requirements of Administrative Code 3701-21-25, an individual shall possess the following qualifications to be approved as an instructor:
- A minimum of four years' experience in:
- Training or teaching food safety;
- Working in the food service industry;
- Working as a Registered Sanitarian in food safety; or
- Related food safety experience; and
- Documentation that the instructors possess approval from the course developer to instruct the course.
D. Obtaining Individual Certification
To obtain Manager Certification in Food Protection, an individual must meet the following:
- Successfully complete an approved Manager Certification in Food Protection course and certification examination offered by a certification provider approved by the Director of Health; or
- Successfully complete an online Manager Certification in Food Protection course approved by the Director of Health and pass a certification examination proctored by a certification provider approved by the Director of Health; or
- Apply for Manager Certification using the process outlined in Section V - Application for Manager Certification in Food Protection.
SECTION III: RESPONSIBILITIES
A. Course Providers
Rule 3701-21-25 (G) of the Administrative Code states the manager course providers approved by the Director Health shall do the following:
- Within thirty (30) days of the course conclusion, send a copy of the final enrollment report for the course with each individual's name, passing grade, name of provider, and name of instructor or proctor;
- Prior to implementation, submit to the Director any changes to the course agenda, instructors, or provider contact information;
- Provide adequate facilities, equipment, and supplies necessary to conduct the approved course or exam; and
- Distribute the Ohio certifications to individuals within ten (10) dates of receiving the certifications form the Ohio Department of Health.
B. Director of Health
- Determine the acceptability of course materials and examinations;
- Approve certification providers;
- Maintain a file of those individuals certified under this program;
- Periodically perform audits of courses of study and certification providers to determine compliance with rule 3701-21-25 of the Administrative Code;
- Provide for the appeal of a denial of an approval of courses of study and certification providers; and
- Send certification providers an Ohio certification for each individual who successfully completes an approved certification program.
SECTION IV: COURSE CONTENT
The core content of a manager certification in food protection course of study shall contain a curriculum that complies with Appendix B to rule 3701-21-25 of the Administrative Code, including:
- Microbiology and foodborne illness;
- Personal hygiene and handwashing;
- Food sources and receiving;
- Cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and untensils;
- Facility design and construction;
- Active managerial control;
- Proper cooking, cooling, reheating, thawing, and holding of food; and
Refer to Appendix B to rule 3701-21-25 for required specific content related to the topics listed above.
SECTION V: APPLICATION FOR MANAGER CERTIFICATION IN FOOD PROTECTION
Individuals who complete and approved course of study and/or exam from a provider that is not approved by the Director of Health may submit an application to become manager certified in food protection by the Director of Health, which shall include the following:
- The applicant's name, address, email address, and telephone number;
- Name of the instructor/proctor;
- Proof of military/veteran status (if applicable);
- Verification of completion of an approved course of study or approved online course; and
- A copy of the examination certificate received.
Click the Download button for a printable copy of these guidelines with Appendix B to rule 3701-21-25 of the Ohio Administrative Code.