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ServSafe® Training


ServSafe® Training A family and consumer sciences Extension agent demonstrates the proper use of equipment to participants in ServSafe®, a program that teaches food safety techniques to food service workers.

Since 1991, Extension has offered the ServSafe® Manager Certification Training Course, an accredited food safety certification program developed by the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association. Family and consumer sciences agents offer the program locally to food service workers at restaurants, hospitals, schools, and child care centers. Participants receive instruction about food safety concepts such as sanitation, food storage, safety regulations, pest management, and safe food handling practices.  

Designed to be administered as either an 8 or 16 hour course, the classroom portion combines videos, student activities, and short discussion-based learning techniques. At home, students review using the ServSafe® text (ServSafe® Manager Book), which is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean. After completing the classroom work, participants take a national certification exam.

Although most Virginia municipalities do not mandate food safety certification, Virginia code requires food service managers to be able to demonstrate knowledge of food-borne disease prevention, including proper food handling. The demonstration of knowledge requirement of the Virginia Food Regulations can be fulfilled by successful completion of the ServSafe® Manager Certification Training Course with an exam score of 75% or higher; certification is valid for five years.

Not only will participating in a ServSafe® course offered through the Virginia Cooperative Extension allow you to become ServSafe® certified, you will also have access to the following resources:

  • Your local Extension agent, who has years of food safety experience.
  • Periodic food safety updates from the National Restaurant Association.

Find out more about course offerings through your Virginia Cooperative Extension local offices.

Contact Us

To learn more about the ServSafe® ManagerProgram, contact Melissa Chase, (540) 231-9749,

Register for a ServSafe® Manager's Class

Comments About the Program

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 6 Americans become sick with food-borne illnesses annually. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.

“Something as simple as hand-washing can greatly impact outcomes. If we change a behavior, like increase hand-washing, we can reduce the incidence of food-borne illness. If we can reduce the number of incidents, we can ultimately reduce the health care costs associated with food-borne illness.” — Karen Gehrt, former Associate Director, Family and Consumer Sciences, Virginia Cooperative Extension