Food Safety Courses

Food safety courses focus on preparing, handling and serving food safely. The courses are compulsory for people working in the food service industry. Employees in care facilities (e.g., child-care and seniors’ facilities) are not legally required to take a food safety course, but are encouraged to do so.

In fact, anyone who handles and serves food would benefit from learning more about this topic

Caring About Food Safety

Caring about Food SafetyCaring About Food Safety is a short, self-guided course about the safe preparation and handling of food. Offered at no cost, it is designed to raise awareness about protecting public health by preventing the spread of food-borne illness.

Caring About Food Safety is for anyone who buys, prepares, handles or serves food to family and friends, and people in workplaces that provide food to others. It will be useful for people whose clients are more susceptible to food-borne illness, and for whom there are no mandated food-safety training requirements – such as operators of child daycares or small, residential care facilities.


The FOODSAFE Program is a comprehensive food-safety training program for the food service industry. An initiative of the Province of British Columbia, FOODSAFE is developed and managed by the BC FOODSAFE Secretariat in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, regional health authorities, BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, and WorkSafe BC.

Certification & Exam Results

Find out if you passed your exam or lookup the level of certification you currently have and see when it expires:

FOODSAFE certification and exam results


FOODSAFE Level 1 is a food-handling, sanitation and work-safety course designed for frontline food-service workers such as cooks, servers, bus-persons, dishwashers and deli workers. The course covers important food safety and worker safety information on food-borne illness, receiving and storing food, preparing food, serving food, cleaning and sanitizing.

Under the B.C. Public Health Act, the Food Premises Regulation states that every operator of a food service establishment, and at least one employee on every shift, must hold a FOODSAFE Level 1 certificate, or a certificate from a course recognized as equivalent to FOODSAFE.

FOODSAFE Level 1 is delivered as an eight-hour face-to-face class, an online class through Open School BC, or by correspondence (Level 1 only). FOODSAFE Level 1 workbooks are available in English, Chinese, Korean and Punjabi, and the FOODSAFE examination is available in many other languages.

To find out about equivalent courses, see Food Handlers Training Courses Equivalent to BC FOODSAFE Level 1 (PDF, 119KB) (BC Centre for Disease Control).

Note: As of July 29, 2013, all FOODSAFE Level 1 certificates issued in British Columbia have a five-year expiry date. FOODSAFE Level 1 certificates issued before July 29, 2013 are valid until July 29, 2018. A short refresher course is offered that covers all the essentials of the FOODSAFE Level 1 training program. A grade of 80% must be achieved in the exam to be recertified. See FOODSAFE Level 1 Refresher Overview.


FOODSAFE Level 2 is designed for food service owners and managers, kitchen managers, executive chefs and others who are responsible for managing food safety. The course has a short review of FOODSAFE Level 1, and modules on Managing for Food Safety and Writing a Food Safety Plan. FOODSAFE Level 2 is delivered as an eight-hour face-to-face class, or an online class through Open School BC. FOODSAFE Level 1 is a prerequisite for FOODSAFE Level 2.


The MarketSafe program is designed to increase awareness and knowledge of food safety and safe food-handling procedures for farmers' market vendors, market managers, farm-gate vendors, home-kitchen small-scale food processors, and others who make, bake or produce food products for public consumption outside regulated food service establishments.

The MarketSafe course is a five-hour interactive classroom course. It was developed by the BC FOODSAFE Secretariat in partnership with the BC Association of Farmers' Markets, and is supported by the regional health authorities, BC Centre for Disease Control and Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.