Food Worker Card
According to Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-217, all food service workers working in Washington State must obtain a food worker card.
New or renewal cards cost $10.
New cards are good for two years.
Renewal cards are good for three years. To be eligible for a renewal card, you must renew your valid food worker within 60 days before its expiration date.
There are three ways to complete the training and test:
• Online at www.foodworkercard.wa.gov.
• At a health department computer kiosk.
• At a health department in-person class and test.
The online training and test are available at www.foodworkercard.wa.gov in English, Cambodian, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese and closed caption.
Once you've completed the training and passed the test, you can pay ($10) with a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card.
Once you've paid, you can print your card. When you click “Print,” a copy of your card will also be sent to your email address.
You can go to the health department and use a computer kiosk to complete the online training and test.
The online training and test are available in English, Cambodian, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese and closed caption.
You will need to bring photo ID with you. Also bring your unexpired food worker card, if you have one. You can pay ($10) with cash, Visa or MasterCard,
Kiosks are available Monday through Friday (holidays excluded), 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Kiosks are available on a first come, first served basis. To ensure a kiosk is available when you arrive, you can call (253) 798-6145 to reserve a kiosk.
Once you've completed the training, passed the test, and paid, your food worker card will be printed for you. A copy of your card will also be sent to your email address.
In-Person Class and Test
You can attend an in-person class and test at the health department. The class lasts about 1½ hours and includes reading a booklet, watching a video, listening to a short lecture or question/answer period, and a multiple choice written test.
The test is available in English, Spanish, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese. Large print and picture-only tests are also available.
You will need to bring photo ID with you. Also bring your unexpired food worker card, if you have one. The cost of the in-person class is $10, cash only.
In-person classes are held on the first and third Thursday of each month (holidays excluded) at 6 p.m. No pre-registration is required. First come, first served. Class size is limited. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
Classes are held in the auditorium at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, 3629 South D Street. Parking is available off D Street. Enter through the lobby doors by the flagpoles.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is a tobacco-free campus.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who do I contact if I have a problem with the online class?
If you are having a problem you can call (253) 798-6145. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If calling outside of office hours, leave a message and a staff member will return your call the next business day. You can also email us at FoodWorkerCard@tpchd.org. When leaving a message or sending an email, please include:
• Your full name
• Phone number and/or email address
• A description of the problem you are having
Can I stop during the training and complete it later?
Yes. Your training session is good for 30 days from the day you started. Log back in to www.foodworkercard.wa.gov and click “Complete the course where I left off” to finish your training. After 30 days, your training session will expire and you will need to restart the training from the beginning. If you stop during the test, you will be required to restart the test from the beginning.
My session has timed out. Now what do I do?
The online training will time out after about 30 minutes of no activity. Sign out and then log back in to www.foodworkercard.wa.gov to complete the training.
How do I print or reprint a card?
After you pass the test and pay for your card, you have four days to print your card from www.foodworkercard.wa.gov for free. After that, you can reprint your card from www.foodworkercard.wa.gov, but a replacement fee may apply. Check with your county of residence for reprint fees.
How can I pay?
If you are paying online, you can use a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card. The charge will appear on your statement as “TPC ONLINE FOOD CARDS.” If you are paying at the health department, you can use cash, Visa or MasterCard.
How can I get a card that is valid for three years?
If you renew your valid Washington State food worker card within 60 days before its expiration date, your renewal card will be good for three years. If you renew your card on or after its expiration date, your renewal card will be good for only two years.
How can I get a card that is valid for five years?
If you complete the ServSafe Food Managers Training Course (or an equivalent advanced training course), you can receive a five-year food worker card. Call (253) 798-6145 for more details.
Why does a card cost $10?
The $10 fee is required by Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-217. The fee is used by the health department to defray the cost of providing food worker training and education, administrating the program, and testing applicants.
Do I have to sign my card once I print it?
Yes. Your card is not valid if it does not have your signature on it.
When will my card expire?
New cards are good for two years. Renewal cards issued before the previous card expired are good for three years. Look on the front of your food worker card for its expiration date.
More frequently asked questions are available on Washington State Department of Health’s website at www.doh.wa.gov/foodworkercard.
Before you get started:
• Plug speakers or earphones into your computer.
• Turn off pop-up blocker.
• Connect to a working printer.
NOTE: Once you pass the test and pay for your card, make sure to click the “Print” button (even if you are not connected to a working printer). This will send a copy of your card to your email address.
If you have a problem with the online class:
• Try using a different web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Internet Explorer).
• Make sure the newest version of Adobe Flash Player is installed on your computer.
• Delete browser history and cookies (in your browser’s “Tools” or “Options” menu).
• Try using a different computer.
The “Do it Right, Serve it Safe” food safety training course DVD is available for purchase. Call (253) 798-6460 to order.
Mandatory Alcohol Server Training is administered by Washington State Liquor Control Board. See www.liq.wa.gov/education/alcohol-awareness for more information.