By law, Cottage Food Operators (CFOs) in California must complete a food processor’s training course within 90 days of getting a CFO permit. In San Diego you have two options, online classes approved by the state or classroom style classes approved by the county. Online classes are faster, cheaper, and more convenient if you have computer access. We compared the online providers for you and found that one, eFoodHandlers (also known as caFoodHandlers), has the best price and least risk of online training classes.
The complete list of approved online training organizations for California CFOs is here. For our comparisons of price, languages, etc. click our Comparison of Online Trainings. For a list of classroom-style, San Diego County approved trainings see page two here.
For only $10 www.eFoodHandlers.com (called www.caFoodHandlers.com for California) guarantees you will pass the test after reviewing the material from their website. Material can be read online, viewed in a video, or downloaded for review offline. Passing is guaranteed because you review the material and take the test prior to paying for the course! You can take the test as many times as needed until you pass, showing that you understand the basics of safe food handling, preparation, and storage. After all, isn’t that what is important?
The website will walk you through the steps. You can start and stop as often as needed. It will automatically keep track of where you are in the process. I registered one day, reviewed the materials and took the test several days later, paid for the class the following day and printed the certificate a few days after that. My experience was that the information was clearly presented, easy to understand, and the test provided instant feedback on correct/incorrect answers to aid in learning. The test also is available online in Spanish.
For those who do not like computers or who do not have the option to study and test online, San Diego County has classroom training for food handler’s cards which will be accepted for CFOs in SD County. A list of those courses can be seen here on page two. Some classes are walk-in and others are by pre-registration only so be sure to check. Also, be aware that most in-person classes cost around $25.
If you need to take the test in another language, some of the online trainings offer Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese, and most offer a Spanish option. For classroom training in San Diego, most courses are offered in English or Spanish, and the Chinese Services Center offers classes in Chinese.
Important!MOST IMPORTANTLY, remember to send a copy of your approved training certificate and your CFO permit number to San Diego Dept. Environmental Health, Food and Housing Division, P.O. BOX 129261, San Diego, CA 92112-9261 OR by fax (858) 505-6786 within 90 days of getting your Class A or Class B permit!