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Adding ServSafe Experts to Your Operation


By: Stephanie Ganz of the Apple Cart 

According to the National Restaurant Association, “The ServSafe Program leads the way in providing comprehensive educational materials to the restaurant industry through face-to-face and online instruction,” and it has provided certification for over 5 million foodservice professionals in three categories: ServSafe Food Protection Manager, ServSafe Food Handler ™ and ServSafe Alcohol ™.

The ServSafe Food Protection Manager is responsible for overseeing food safety among staff. An individual in a management position would pursue this nationally-accredited certification either in a class or through ServSafe’s online resources. It pays to have management with a deep understanding of food safety issues to make sure staff are adhering to HAACP plans and best practices. The textbook for this course sells for about $50, while the online course is $125, and the test itself is an additional $36.00. That’s worth every penny compared to the risk of making someone sick and potentially facing fallout from a foodborne illness outbreak.

The ServSafe Food Handler certification is appropriate for staff that are not in management positions but who have daily food-handling responsibility, such as line cooks. An online course and assessment is available for just $15.

For your bar staff, you may consider ServSafe Alcohol certification, which is available for around $30, including an online course and proctored exam. According to the ServSafe website, “Our materials help define responsible alcohol service best practices because we involve specialists in regulatory agencies, law, insurance, medicine, law-enforcement, restaurants and academia to create them. ServSafe Alcohol materials reflect scientific research in an easy-to-understand format.”

If you’re looking for a ServSafe course or proctor to administer an exam (required for Food Protection Manager and Alcohol exams), contact your Performance Foodservice rep to see if there’s a program scheduled near you.

Contributed By:
Stephanie Ganz. Stephanie is the co-owner of The Apple Cart, a Richmond, VA-based company that helps food businesses start and grow.