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Food Handler Testing

To protect public health, all persons working in food service in Fayette County are required to have a valid food handler card issued by the Health Department. All persons who handle food and drink are required to have a valid food handler card on file in the establishment where they work. This includes waiters, bartenders, dishwashers, cooks and other kitchen workers. Certified food managers are not required to have a food handler card.

Food Handler Testing consists of viewing a 15 minute food safety training video and taking a short written test. Testing is offered 8:30-a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Environmental Health office, 650 Newtown Pike. Tests cost $20 and permits are good for 3 years.

Food handler testing now available online
  • The test may also be taken online at any time through a secure testing website. Cost is $15; credit card is required for payment. This option is only available via computers with internet access, not smart phones or other mobile devices.
  • Click here to go to our online food handlers test.

Only food handler cards issued through the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department are valid within Fayette County.

Call (859) 231-9791 x4245 for more information.

Food Manager Certification

All food establishments in Fayette County are required to have a Certified Food Manager on duty at all times of operation. Classes and certifications are offered at least monthly by the Environmental Health office. Pre-registration and prepayment are required in advance of the class date to guarantee a spot. Classes are limited to 35 participants and fill up quickly, so do not delay in registering. Please note that the location of the food manager classes has changed to Ramada Lexington North Hotel & Conference Center, 2143 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY 40505.

Initial certification classes run 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $55.

Certification is valid for three (3) years. Recertification may be done through the streamlined recertification class, which runs 8:30 a.m.-noon. The cost is $30.

Lapse of certification for more than 1 year requires attending the full certification class.

Attendees must present a picture I.D.. The lecture and written exam are provided in English. Translators are permitted to accompany a participant as needed.

Click here to download the Food Manager Class Registration Form and to see class dates.

Fayette County was the first jurisdiction in Kentucky to require all food service establishments to be operated by a person certified in food safety and hygiene. The local Board of Health passed this requirement in 1987.

The goal of this educational program is to provide training in safe food handling procedures and personal hygiene, thus preventing the occurrence of foodborne diseases.


Other resources:


Helpful links: LexingtonKy.gov | Be ready, Lexington | CDC | Healthcare 411 | Healthfinder | KY Dept. for Public Health | KY Cabinet for Health & Family Services | KY Dept. for Medicaid Services
No endorsement is intended or made of any hyperlinks, products, services or information either by its inclusion or exclusion from this page or site.

Change in services: Effective May 20, 2014, we are able to provide childhood vaccinations (must live in Fayette County, be 18 years or younger and be uninsured or underinsured). Limited appointments are available daily Monday-Friday, and appointments can be made up to a week in advance by calling the Public Health Clinic at (859) 288-2483.

Our Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike is no longer able to see patients for the following programs: adult immunizations/physicals and breast/cervical cancer.

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