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How to Get a Food Manager Certification In Georgia

Nick PerryAuthor

Running a restaurant takes a lot of work, which is why it’s important to delegate day-to-day tasks to qualified managers

Given that acquiring a new manager can cost $15,000, it’s no surprise restaurant owners put a premium on quality managers. But that goes beyond the typical restaurant manager who ensures that operations run smoothly. You also need outstanding food managers who are certified to work with food and maintain health and safety protocols.

In this article, you will learn what a food manager certification is, who needs one, and how you can get one or hire a capable food manager for your restaurant in Georgia.

How to get a food manager certification in Georgia

A food manager certification is a certificate bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to protect the public from foodborne illness. The certification exam tests applicants on proper food safety measures, applicable regulations, and techniques to maintain food safety in a food-oriented environment like a restaurant or coffee shop. Moreover, it also verifies that certified food managers can recognize food safety concerns and implement the proper corrective and preventative action if necessary. The table below outlines the best path to certification for food managers in Georgia.

Please note that certification requirements and processes may change over time, so it's essential to verify the most up-to-date information with the relevant state or local health department or certifying agency.

Certification Provider(s)
Certification Requirements
Renewal Information
Georgia Department of Public Health
Completion of an approved food safety training program
Renewal is typically required every 5 years.


What do food managers do in a restaurant?

Food managers are responsible for protecting public health. That may sound like an overstatement, but that’s really why they’re there – to ensure foodborne illness doesn’t spread from the kitchen to the customers.

As such, food managers oversee the handling of food from delivery to preparation. They make sure that all food deliveries are fresh and suitable to serve, are stored responsibly and according to regulations, and that all food workers handle and prepare food appropriately. They’re up to date on all Georgia food regulations and ensure that an establishment meets food safety codes.

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What are the food safety regulations in Georgia?

Food safety regulations can vary by location, but here is a list of some common food safety regulations that restaurants and food establishments are in Georgia are required to follow:

Food Storage and Handling:

  • Store food at proper temperatures to prevent spoilage and bacterial growth.
  • Ensure proper separation of raw and ready-to-eat foods to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Use safe and sanitary food handling practices.

Employee Hygiene:

  • Require employees to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Enforce rules regarding clean uniforms and personal hygiene.
  • Restrict ill employees from handling food.

Sanitation and Cleaning:

  • Maintain a clean and sanitary kitchen and dining area.
  • Regularly clean and sanitize food preparation surfaces, equipment, and utensils.
  • Dispose of waste properly and safely.

Food Safety Training:

  • Ensure that food handlers and managers receive appropriate food safety training and certification.
  • Keep records of employee training and certification.

Temperature Control:

  • Monitor and control food temperatures during storage, cooking, and serving to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Use food thermometers to verify safe cooking temperatures.

Safe Food Sources:

  • Source food from approved and reputable suppliers.
  • Inspect incoming shipments for quality and safety.

Allergen Management:

  • Clearly label and identify menu items that contain common allergens.
  • Train staff to handle allergen-related requests and issues.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points):

  • Implement a HACCP plan to identify and control potential hazards in food preparation.
  • Regularly review and update the HACCP plan.

Food Recall Procedures:

  • Establish procedures for quickly removing and disposing of recalled or contaminated food items.

Record Keeping:

  • Maintain records of food safety practices, temperature logs, and employee training.
  • Be prepared to provide records to health inspectors upon request.

Health Inspections:

  • Cooperate with health department inspections and promptly address any violations or concerns.

Emergency Preparedness:

  • Have plans in place for responding to foodborne illness outbreaks or other emergencies.
  • Maintain contact information for local health authorities.

Menu Labeling (where applicable):

  • Provide accurate nutrition information and calorie counts on menus.
  • Comply with any local or national menu labeling requirements.

Please note that the specific regulations and their enforcement may vary depending on your location and the type of food establishment. It's essential to consult with your local health department or regulatory agency for the most up-to-date and region-specific food safety requirements.

What are the best options for food manager certification in Georgia?

There are many ways to earn your food manager certification in Georgia. These are some of the most popular ways to do it.

1. Local programs

Four companies offer the accredited Food Manager Certification Program exam in Georgia. These companies are the Certifying Board for Dietary Managers, ProMetric, the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

While the state neither endorses nor recommends any specific organization, these organizations offer specific courses to help you train for the exam and ace it on your first try. However, they are also some of the most expensive options.

2. 360 Training

360 Training’s Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) package is available in most states, including Georgia. The training program will help you learn what you need to know to pass the exam and will help you get set up to take the exam.

360 Training’s package is rated 4 out of 5 stars and is $120 before exam fees so while it may be convenient, it may not be the best bang for your buck – especially if you don’t pass the first time.

3. ANSI National Accreditation Board

The ANSI National Accreditation Board offers several national and local accreditation programs. If you want to get more focused with your Food Manager Certification, you can pursue International Certified Food Safety Manager or WFSO-USA Food Protection Manager, as well.

4. AAA Food Handler

AAA Food Handler offers national training resources, with the ability to focus in on specific states. You can train for Food Handler, Food Manager, and Alcohol Handling through a single source. While AAA Food Handler won’t give you the exam, you can get the training you’ll need to pass in Georgia for a far more affordable price than other options.

5. Set up your exam yourself

You don’t have to enroll in a training program to earn a CFPM certificate. It’s certainly helpful, but if you’ve worked in the restaurant industry enough to be familiar with the regulations, you can set up an exam at any time, as long as you’re willing to pay the fees.

Ready to go for your food manager certification in Georgia?

Everywhere that serves food in Georgia must have a certified Food Manager on hand to protect public health. For restaurant owners and managers, it’s crucial to find these experts or encourage someone on your staff to earn the certification to remain compliant with the state. For aspiring industry workers, earning your Food Manager certification can be a good way to raise your earning potential and increase your job security.

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Food Manager Certification FAQs

If you’re still deciding whether or not pursuing food manager certification is right for you, these FAQs may help you make a decision.

Is it required to have a food manager certification to own a restaurant?

You don’t need a food manager certification to own a restaurant in Georgia, but you must have someone onsite at all times at the restaurant who is accredited.

What are the benefits of becoming a certified food protection manager?

In Georgia, it’s mandatory to have a certified food protection manager at any establishment that handles food. As such, getting this certification can put you in greater demand on the job market. Some food establishments may also offer higher pay for certified food managers and give you a greater opportunity to rise up in the business.

What is the difference between a food handler’s card and a food protection manager?

While food handlers and food protection managers have many of the same responsibilities, one does not equal the other. Essentially, a food protection manager is a higher-level of food handler. Food handlers are also certified, but they have a more basic understanding of critical food handling procedures and safety measures than food protection managers.

In most states, such as Georgia, food handler certification is less valuable than food manager certification because food handlers aren’t mandatory. Food managers have extensive knowledge of food safety and significantly more responsibility to protect customers and a food establishment. They operate in supervisory roles while food handlers are just certified to handle food correctly and get it out of the kitchen.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.