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Food Safety for Food Employees

Food Employee Certification Requirements

Pennsylvania's Food Code requires facilities that prepare or serve foods which require time/temperature control for safety to employ at least one person that has a nationally recognized food safety certification. This employee needs to be onsite or available by phone at all times. This certification is available from four nationally recognized training programs: Prometrics, National Restaurant Association or ServSafe, National Registry for Food Safety Professionals, and 360° Training.

The type of food service that is done at your facility will determine whether an employee with a food safety certification is required. The sanitarian assigned to your facility will let you know if it is required. If required, at least one employee must obtain the Food Employee Certification within 90 days of opening your facility.

An AHB sanitarian will be following up with you to confirm that you have met the Person-in-Charge requirement and, if required, the Food Employee Certification. Please contact the AHB at 610-437-7759 if you have any questions regarding meeting these requirements.

For a complete listing of training providers in Pennsylvania, please visit the PA Dept of Agriculture website.

Person-In-Charge (PIC) Requirements

When a certified food employee is not onsite, a person-in-charge must be present at the facility. A person-in-charge (PIC) is a knowledgeable person with supervisory authority over your facility’s employees. The PIC can be an owner, manager or any designated employee on duty at the facility. The PIC must have enough knowledge of the operation of the facility to assure proper food preparation and safety, cleaning and sanitizing, and employee practices and hygiene.

Person-In-Charge training classes are provided free of charge, by the Allentown Health Bureau every other month. The Food Employee Certification course and the Person-In-Charge training will provide comprehensive instruction on the food safety information available in the Food Safety for Food Employees document. The Certified Food Employee and the Person-In-Charge are responsible for sharing the information they learn at these courses with all of the food employees at their facility.

Within 60 days of opening your facility, you are required to have all PIC’s employed at your facility attend a Person-in-Charge training session. Please speak with the sanitarian assigned to your facility or call 610-437-7759 to register your staff for the next free PIC training.