SERVSAFE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(Revised 5-12-05)

Indiana requires each food service establishment to have one certified food handler on staff. New establishments have 90 days to comply. If an establishment only has one certified food handler and they leave employment, the establishment has 60 days to certify another food handler.

Who is Exempt from the Mandatory Certification Requirement?
Where can I find classes?
Is the class required?
What are the costs?
Is the book and exam available in other languages besides English?
Who can teach ServSafe or proctor an exam?

What is a passing score?
What kind of questions are on the exam?
I lost my certificate. What do I do now?
Is the ServSafe Exam good in other states?
How long is the certificate good for?
Which ServSafe Training is right for me?

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Who is Exempt from the Mandatory Certification Requirement?
The certification rule does not apply to the following:

Menu Exemptions

  1. Heating or serving precooked foods;
  2. Preparing or serving a continental breakfast such as rolls,
    coffee, juice, milk and cold cereal;
  3. Preparing or serving nonalcoholic or alcoholic beverages that are not potentially hazardous or ice;
  4. Preparing or serving packaged or unpackaged foods that are not potentially hazardous foods including elephant ears, funnel cakes, cotton candy, confectionaries, baked goods, popcorn, chips and grinding coffee beans;
  5. Providing prepackaged food in its original package.

    EXEMPT FOOD ITEMS

    • Heating or serving precooked foods

    • Any prepackaged food sold in its original package, either potentially or non‐potentially hazardous

    • Popcorn, kettle corn, caramel corn, and chips

    • Shaved ice products and ice

    • Cotton candy, elephant ears & funnel cakes

    • Continental breakfast items (i.e., rolls, coffee, juice, milk, cold cereal)

    • Pretzels with open dips (i.e., cheese and marinara that are pre‐manufactured)

    • Roasting and grinding of coffee beans

    • Deli’s that only serve pre‐sliced meat and cheese

    • Deli’s serving pre‐manufactured salads (i.e., potato and macaroni salads)

    • Baked goods (i.e., bread, doughnuts, rolls, cookies)

    • Confectionaries (i.e., candy, jams, jellies)

    • Any non‐potentially hazardous beverages (i.e., “slushies”, wine, beer, soft drinks)

    • Spices and dry rubs

    • Vegetables, fruit and herbs (i.e., produce stands that are not cutting melons)

    • Hot dogs with simple condiments (i.e., ketchup, mustard, relish)

    • Canned soups, sauces, and dips

    • Waffles and pancakes, syrup

    • Honey, maple syrup and sorghum

    • Air‐cooled hard boiled eggs

     

    NON‐EXEMPT FOOD ITEMS

    • Ice cream not packaged

    • Unpackaged drinks/beverages that are composed of potentially hazardous food ingredients (i.e., milk shakes, coffee and smoothie drinks made with dairy products)

    • Cooking raw meat products

    (i.e., hamburgers, chicken, sausage, bacon, steaks, and pork)

    (i.e., meat cutting rooms, deli’s slicing meat and cheeses)

    • Cream pies made from scratch

    • Soups and gravies made onsite with potentially hazardous foods

    • Eggs prepared on site

    • Sandwiches prepared onsite with potentially hazardous foods

    • Dipping sauces prepared onsite with potentially hazardous foods

    • Processed foods prepared onsite (i.e., such as acidified, low acid canned, smoked and garlic and oil mixtures)

    • Other foods prepared onsite with potentially hazardous foods (i.e., tacos, salads, egg rolls)

    • Hot dogs and nachos prepared onsite with potentially hazardous food toppings

    • Cutting of melons and raw seed sprouts

    • Seafood

    (i.e., fish, crustaceans, molluscan shellfish)

If the establishment is over 10,000 square feet the above exemptions do not comply.

Non Profits Exempt:

  1. An Area Agency on Aging that provides food under a nutrition service program that serves food at nutrition sites. However, the premises where the food is prepared is not exempt from the requirements. For example food that is provided to senior citizens at community sites will be exempt, but the commissary where the food was produced is not.
  2. A food pantry that operated or affiliated with a nonprofit organization that is exempt as a 501©(3) A food bank or other facility that distributes donated food to other organizations is not exempt. Food banks that operate as distribution centers for other food banks and pantries are not exempt.
  3. An organization that is exempt from the state sales tax is exempt, but does not prohibit an exempt organization from waiving the exemption and using a certified food handler. This includes organizations such as fraternal lodges, booster club concession stands, schools, jails, prisons and other government operations.

Institutions Exempt:

  1. Hospitals licensed under IC 16-21;
  2. Health facilities licensed under IC 16-28;
  3. Housing with services establishments that are required to file disclosure statements under IC12-10-15; or
  4. Continuing care retirement communities required to file disclosure statements under IC 23-2-4.

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Where can I find classes?
A list of our classes can be found on our website: http://www.indianarestaurants.org/
These classes use the most current materials available that have been developed for the food service industry BY the food service industry. If you choose to use another resource for training, be sure that the instructors use quality up-to-date materials and are administering an approved exam. You may find other material available more academic or regulatory in nature than ServSafe.

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Is the class required?
No, only an exam is required. An exam must be approved by the CFP (Conference for Food Protection) and administered by a registered proctor. The class is beneficial in helping achieve a passing grade.

Other forms of study include:

  • Independent study of the ServSafe book (purchase from us)
  • Online courses
  • If an individual has passed the exam previously and has extensive foodservice experience, they may be able to pass the exam without study. Studying current text or taking a class can help in achieving a higher score on the exam and thereby implementing best practices in their establishment...

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What are the costs?

Classes include book, instruction and exam. The cost ranges from $125 for members, nonprofits and government agencies and $150 for nonmembers. Some classes include lunch and may cost a little more.

  • Book only: $40 for members $48 for nonmembers
  • Exam and Proctoring: $35 for members $50 for nonmembers
  • Online Course and Exam: $150

Do not purchase materials including the online voucher from the NRAEF as the cost is higher and you must still pay a proctor to administer the exam.

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Is the book and exam available in other languages besides English?

The book is available in:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Korean

The exam is available in:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • French Canadian
  • Large Print
  • An Instructor version for those looking to apply as a Certified ServSafe Instructor

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Foreign Language Accommodations

An examinee with limited proficiency in English is permitted to hire and pay for a qualified interpreter to assist the Proctor in administering the exam for a language that is not offered.

The interpreter needs to be:

  • fluent in both English and the examinee's native language
  • have no personal relationship with the examinee
  • may not interpret subjective opinions or provide cues to the examinees

Examinees who want to use an interpreter must contact us 10 business days prior to the exam date, sending a list of credentials of the interpreter. The office will then submit a Request for Examination Accommodation to NRA Solutions. If the request is denied, an Appeal Request Form can be submitted within 30 days of the denial.

Examinees who want to take the Exam in English are permitted to use a printed bilingual English-native language dictionary (e.g. English-Spanish) during the exam. English-language dictionaries are not allowed. Electronic dictionaries are not permitted.

 

Who can teach ServSafe or proctor an exam?

If you really want to know, you can click on the link below.
http://www.nraef.org/faq/faq_instructors.asp?flag=lcd&level1_id=6&level2_id=4&level3_id=1

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What is a passing score?

75% or 60 out of 80 questions.

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What kind of questions are on the exam?

Multiple choice with 4 possible answers. You must choose the best answer. Questions cover Food protection, purchasing and receiving, storage, preparing, serving and displaying, maintaining equipment, personal hygiene and monitoring employees.

There are microbiology questions on foodborne illnesses such as ecoli, botulism and cigutera and what foods they are associated with.

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I lost my certificate. What do I do now?

If someone took the class from us, we can send them a verification letter. A new certificate costs $20 and is available from NRA Solutions.

Click here to download a certificate request.

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Is the ServSafe Exam good in other states?

Most states have reciprocity. Some states require an additional permit (Illinois)
For regulatory requirements click here.

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How long is the certificate good for?

5 years

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Which ServSafe Training is right for me?

Indiana law requires one certified food handler for each foodservice location. There is not a requirement for training, however even most seasoned professionals choose some form of study prior to taking the exam.

There are several options to help prepare for the exam:

Exam Only
Answer Sheet or Online Voucher provided. The exam must be “proctored” (ie: observed and administered) by a registered proctor or instructor. Although an online exam is available at some locations, it also must be proctored. Look for “Exam Proctoring Only” through the list of available dates or you may choose “Exam Only” on course dates. Registrants must arrive at the testing site at 3:30 the day of the exam when choosing to test on a course date.

One or Two Day Course with Instruction and Proctored Exam
The ServSafe Essentials textbook and answer sheet are provided with the multi-media training by registered instructors. Instructors have specific requirements and passed rigorous exams prior to becoming an instructor.

  • One day class – it is recommended to review the textbook prior to class. Registering early will allow you to receive the book in advance.
  • Two day classes achieve higher grade averages and include more comprehensive information. Maximum instruction and learning exposure.

Home Study with Proctored Exam
ServSafe Essentials textbook and answer sheet provided. Registrants study at home, then choose the “Exam Only” option when they are ready to test. Recommended for experienced foodservice professionals, no instructor guidance or interaction is included.

Online Course with Classroom Proctored Exam
Course and study via the internet at your own pace. Online course length is approximately 8-10 hours. All course applicants will be asked to verify that they have completed the online course by bringing their printed certificate of completion to the testing facility. Registrants have 30 days to complete the course. Contact the Indiana Restaurant Association when ready to schedule an exam.

Recertification Course with Proctored Exam
Answer Sheet provided. ServSafe Essentials textbook available at a discount, however not included in the course fee. A four hour refresher for exprienced foodservice professionals. Includes updates to the FDA model food code. “Exam Only” testing option not available on these course dates.

Consider the following when choosing your option:

  • Your overall food safety knowledge
  • Reading comprehension
  • Time constraints
  • Ability to develop food safety training and procedures for your staff

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200 S. Meridian St., Suite 350 Indianapolis, IN 46225 317-673-4211