Free Food Safety and COVID-19 Training Opportunities for Food Handlers throughout April

April 1, 2020, 3:33 pm | Anirudh Naig

pizza in delivery boxes in restaurant kitchen by romaset/, Iowa -- The National Restaurant Association is offering free Food Handler and COVID-19 training online and for download throughout April. The training is intended for delivery and carry-out operations, but everyone will find the information useful, says Anirudh Naig, a food safety state extension specialist and associate professor in apparel, events and hospitality management at Iowa State University.

The two courses are available from the National Restaurant Association ServSafe program, Naig said.

ServSafe Food Handler includes online training and assessment.

ServSafe Takeout and Delivery: COVID-19 Precautions is a training video that features an overview of coronavirus, symptoms of COVID-19 and details about its transmission. The video also reviews:

  • The five-step handwashing process.
  • Respiratory hygiene practices to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • Keeping guests safe through heightened cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Guidelines for single-use gloves.
  • Packaging considerations for takeout and/or curbside pickup.
  • Guest contact precautions during takeout.

“Please note that these trainings cannot be used in place of the ServSafe Manager Certification course” Naig said.

Visit or to learn more about both courses. Free career development training for restaurant workers and hospitality professionals also is available.

Human sciences specialists with ISU Extension and Outreach have taught the ServSafe food safety certification program for more than 25 years as registered instructors for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s internationally recognized food safety certification program.

Iowa’s Food Code requires at least one supervisory employee in licensed foodservices be certified in food safety through an approved program, Naig said.

In the past fiscal year, 1,850 foodservice professionals participated in ServSafe education taught by ISU Extension and Outreach, becoming certified food protection managers.

“These individuals are well qualified to implement essential food safety practices in foodservice establishments,” Naig added.


Photo credit: romaset/


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