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Home > Food from Farm to Table > Food Safety > Minnesota Food Code Fact Sheets > Food Manager Certification

Food Manager Certification


The State of Minnesota requires a Minnesota Certified Food Manager in most food establishments. Food manager certification is administered by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Types of food establishments required to have a Certified Food Manager

Most food establishments, with some exceptions listed below, are required to have a Certified Food Manager.

Some of the establishments that do not have to employ a certified food manager are:

  • Food establishments where food preparation activities are only one or more of these:
    • Heating or serving precooked hot dogs or sausages, popcorn, nachos, pretzels or frozen pizza.
    • Preparing or serving continental breakfast.
    • Preparing or serving beverages or ice.
    • Grinding coffee beans.
    • Packaging non-potentially hazardous foods.
    • Serving bulk foods.
    • Processing raw meat, poultry, fish or wild game intended for further cooking after sale.
    • Heating as the only preparation for a bakery product.
    • Providing prepackaged food in its original package.
    • Cleaning or sanitizing eating, drinking or cooking utensils.
    • Boarding establishments, bed and breakfast facilities, child care or adult day care facilities that serve 18 or fewer meals per mealtime.
    • Food carts, mobile food units, seasonal permanent or temporary food stands, special event food stands, retail food vehicles, portable structures, carts or vending machines.
    • An establishment that provides no more than one meal per week and its main purpose is not food service.
    • A nursing home, hospital, boarding care home or supervised living facility, if only patients and staff are served.

    How to obtain an initial Minnesota Food Manager Certificate

    • Training: Attend a food manager course, available from some local agencies, community and technical colleges, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Extension offices, and private companies. Obtain proof of having attended a food manager course.
    • Testing. Take one of the State recognized food manager exams. They are the ServSafe© exam, the Experior Assessment exam, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals exam, and the Certifying Board of Dietary Managers exam. The exam must have been taken within the last three years before applying for a Food Manager Certificate. Obtain proof of having successfully completed the exam.
    • Apply for Minnesota Food Manager Certificate. Include with the application proof of having attended a food manager course and proof of having passed one of the recognized exams. Also include a $35 check payable to the Minnesota Department of Health.
    • Mail the completed application and the attachments required to Food Manager Certification, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64975, St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975.

    How to renew a Minnesota Food Manager Certificate

    • When to Renew: A Minnesota Food Manager Certificate has to be renewed every three years. The expiration date is displayed on the certificate.
    • Renewal Training: During the three year period attend one or more food manager renewal courses providing a total of at least four hours of training. Each course must have covered at least one of these subjects: food sanitation and safety, or emerging trends in food preparation and handling, or the prevention of foodborne illness. Many of the providers of the initial food manager training will also be offering renewal training. Attendance at a full length food manager course is also acceptable towards renewal of a Minnesota Food Manager Certificate, but proof of having passed a new Food Manager Exam is not required. Obtain proof of having attended the training. Keep this proof and the course agenda until applying for renewal of the food manager certificate.
    • Apply for Renewal of the Minnesota Food Manager Certificate: Before the Minnesota Food Manager certificate expires, the applicant must apply for renewal. Applicants for renewal must show proof of having attended at least four complete hours of food safety education to be able to renew the Minnesota Food Manager Certificate. Also include a $35 check payable to the Minnesota Department of Health.
    • Mail the completed application and the attachments required to Food Manager Certification, Minnesota Department of Health, P.O. Box 64975, St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0975.
    MDA Contact

    Dairy & Food Inspection Division
    651-201-6027