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.

The Food Handler and Food Manager tests may be taken online at any time through our website. Cost is $23 for the food handler test and $85 for the food manager certification; 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 take your online Food Handler test or Food Manager certification.

Only food handler cards issued through the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department are valid within Fayette County. Call (859) 231-9791 for more information.

On-Site Testing

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 food-service establishment personnel engaged in food handling activities must have satisfactorily passed the basic food handling certification requirements and have a Fayette County food handler card on file at the establishment. Certified food managers are not required to obtain 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. The test costs $23 and permits are good for three (3) years.

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 monthly by the Environmental Health office. Pre-registration and prepayment are required in advance of the class date to guarantee a seat. Classes are limited to 40 participants and fill up quickly, so do not delay in registering. Please note that the location of the Food Manager class has changed to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, Dr. Rice C. Leach Community Room, 650 Newtown Pike, Lexington, KY 40508.

Initial certification classes run 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $85. Certification is valid for three (3) years. 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.

Download the Food Manager Class registration form and see class dates or visit our event calendar.