Mississippi Food Certification Requirements: 6 things You Need to Know to get certified

Mississippi Food Certification Requirements

In the state of Mississippi, food certification is required for food service personnel in many businesses that handle, prepare, and serve food. While the state does have laws that require food service personnel to have knowledge about food safety and sanitization practices, certification goes above and beyond those basic requirements. The Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) sets specific requirements for those who wish to become certified in food safety in order to promote the health and safety of the food supply in the state.

In this article, we will discuss the requirements for obtaining a food certification in Mississippi and why it is important. So, let’s dig into what you need to know!

What Is Mississippi Food Certification Program?

The Mississippi Food Certification Program is a program administered by the MDH to ensure that restaurant personnel have the required knowledge to safely prepare and handle food products. The program provides food handlers with information about food safety and sanitation guidelines that must be followed in order to protect the public from foodborne illness.

In order to become certified, food service personnel must complete the certified training program, which is offered through MDH-approved training providers. Participants must pass the training course and exam in order to become certified. Currently there are 4 nationally accredited food safety certifications:

  • ServSafe
  • SafeCert
  • Learn2Serve
  • Prometric

What Are the Benefits of Participating in the Program?

The primary benefit of participating in the Certification program is the assurance that the food being given to customers is safe and free from contaminants. Individuals who become certified in food safety in Mississippi show that they understand the importance of implementing safe food practices and following food safety guidelines.

In addition, becoming certified in Mississippi’s Food Certification program gives food handlers and Managers greater job stability by showing potential employers that they are responsible and knowledgeable in the field.

What Are the Training Requirements?

In order to obtain a certification, food handlers in Mississippi must take an approved training program and pass a final exam. Two of the main MDH has approved training and certification programs for those who work in food and beverage industry are:

  • The ServSafe Food Handler program is a coup-hour online course designed to help food service personnel learn the basics of food safety and sanitation. At the end of the course, participants must pass an online exam.
  • The Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM) certification program is a 8-hour state-approved program. The program covers a wide range of food safety topics and is designed to prepare participants for the state-administered Certified Professional Food Manager (CPFM) exam accredited by ServSafe

What Are the Exam Requirements?

Once participants have completed their training courses, they must take and pass a state-approved exam in order to become certified. The MDH accepts two types of certification exams:

  • The ServSafe Food Handler Exam is an online exam administered through the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe program. The exam covers basic food safety principles and tests participants’ knowledge of safe food handling practices.
  • The Mississippi Food Manager Exam is an exam accredited by the ServSafe and can be completed with online proctor that tests food Manager’s’ knowledge in the areas of food safety, personal hygiene, and hazard analysis.

What Does the Certification Cost?

The cost of the Mississippi Food Certification Program depends on the type of certification sought. The ServSafe Food Handler program costs between $15 – $45, while the Food Manager exam by ServSafe costs between $55 – $85. The training is usually offered separately which may cost between $100 – $250, however for easy access and less headaches, we at Elite Food Safety and Sanitation offer all in one package for an affordable price that will include the training, exam and an online certified proctor.

What Are the Renewal Requirements?

The renewal requirements vary depending on the type of certification held. For example, food handlers who have a ServSafe Food Handler certification are not required to take an additional training course in order to renew and can be renewed every 2 years, but those who have a ServSafe Food Manager certification in Mississippi are required to retake the training and the exam every 5 years.


Obtaining a food certification in Mississippi is an important step for individuals who are seeking employment in the food service industry. By meeting the training and certification requirements of the Mississippi Food Certification Programs, food handlers and food managers can demonstrate a commitment to safe food handling practices and show potential employers that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to work safely in the food service industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible to obtain a food certification in Mississippi?

Any person working in an establishment that serves or prepares food must obtain a food certification in Mississippi.

Q: Is a food certification required to work in a restaurant in Mississippi?

Yes, it is a state law that all food service personnel must obtain a food certification in order to work in a restaurant in Mississippi.

Q: How often do I need to renew my food certification in Mississippi?

You must renew your food handler certification every two years in order to remain in good standing. Meanwhile, food managers need to be renewed every 5 years.

Q: What is the cost of obtaining a food certification in Mississippi?

The cost of the certification depends on the type of certification you are seeking, but it typically ranges from $15 to $45 for food handlers and $100-$250 for food managers.

Q: Do I have to take a training course to become certified?

Yes, you must complete an approved training program before you can take the certification exam.

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