skip to main content

Public Health - Seattle & King County

How to get your food worker card

You can take your class and test either online available 24/7 at any time or in-person every first Friday of the month. Please select your preferred method of training for full instructions:
Questions and answers about food worker cards

1. I lost my food worker card, how do I get a replacement?

Read full instructions on how obtain a replacement permit for a non-expired food worker permit. Replacement permits cost $10. To avoid having to get a replacement in the future, we suggest making at least 3 printouts of your permit if taking the online class and test or 2 photocopies of your original obtained from our in-person classes. Give a copy to your employer, keep a copy in your wallet and another copy at home or somewhere safe to use as a backup in case you lose the one in your wallet.

2. I got my food worker card from another Washington state county but is it valid in King County?

Yes! food worker cards obtained anywhere in Washington state are valid throughout the state. For example, if you got your permit in Skagit County, it is valid in King County and so on. Your food worker card is NOT valid for work in other states and likewise, food worker cards obtained in other states are not valid for work in Washington state due to varying differences in state laws on food safety.

3. How long are food worker cards valid?

  • 2 YEARS: If this is the first time you have gotten a food worker card;
  • 3 YEARS: If your current permit has not been expired for more than 30 days and you bring it or a copy with you;
  • 5 YEARS: If you have a current permit and can show that you have had 4 hours of food safety training that has been approved by the State of Washington. Click here for more information.

4. Are there other places where I can get my food worker card?

Yes, all Washington state counties offer the same class, test and permit. The permit is also valid for work throughout the state. It is not valid in other states. If you are not in King County, please select the health department serving the county where you reside to learn more about in-class training offered in your area however many are adopting the same online/web-based training option we offer as well.

5. Is there a study guide available?

Yes, the Washington State Dept. of Health offers a Food Worker Manual that you can download in multiple languages.

6. Can I just take the test and get my permit without attending a class?

No. The class, either taken online or in-person, is required prior to taking the test.

7. Can I make a single payment for multiple people to get a food worker card?

Yes. It is possible to pay for multiple people getting food worker cards obtained either online or through the in-person class. Payment can be made with check or credit card. Include with the payment a list of the names (First, Middle, Last) and the Date of Birth of all people who have passed the test and are being covered by the payment. Please also provide a return address so cards can be mailed to you. Checks can be made payable to: Seattle-King County Dept. of Public Health. For in-person classes, you can complete this if you are onsite or submit payment within 30 days of people completing the exam. Checks can be mailed to:

King County Food Protection Program
401 5th Ave, Suite 1100
Seattle, WA 98104

For security reasons, do not mail your credit card number nor email it to us. Instead, for credit card payment, please call us at 206-263-9566.

For those taking the test online, complete the registration steps, go through the process of taking the class and the exam through the system. When you have passed the exam, you can log off. The completed exam will remain in the system for 30 days for payment to be made. After payment, students will also be able to log into the system and print their cards. Follow the instructions above on how to make payment for multiple people at once. Sorry, there is no mechanism through the online system to pay for multiple people at once.

8. I have other questions. Who do I contact?

9. How do I find out about updates and changes to the Food Worker Card system?

Sign up for our free email alert system. As a subscriber, you'll get an email alerting you of significant information loaded to the Food Worker Card webpages.