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Food Handlers' Permit

Food Handlers' Permit

Food Handlers' Permit

The Food Handlers' Permit project undertaken through funding from the National Health Fund, will modify the current system by replacing the paper cards with PVC 'ID Style" Cards. As some of the processes involved in delivering this service will be automated, the new system will offer benefits of greater efficiency, more durable card for clients, and reduced turnaround time.

Who needs a Food Handlers' Permit?

All persons currently working in or planning to work in a food handling establishment, regardless of their position, need a valid food handlers' permit. This means persons such as:

  • Butchers

  • Cashiers

  • Chefs

  • Managers or Merchandisers

  • Production Line staff

  • Proprietors Waiters

  • Wrappers

  • Soup, Fruit or Fish Vendors


Once your work involves handling food, you need a valid Food Handlers' Permit.


Please note: Students of the above mentioned skill categories and students in catering schools and hospitality programs, also need a VALID Food Handlers' Permit.

Important Notices

Students who are required to handle food as part of their course of study need to obtain food handler's permits. These include students in catering schools, hospitality programs and all other areas where preparation and handling of food is required.

A Student food handler's permit is valid for the duration of your course of study. Permit renewal follows the same procedure as the initial application. The fee is $300. Applicants are required to bring any one of the following forms of identification – a passport, driver's license, National ID or certified photo by Justice of the Peace.

A food handler's permit is valid for one year from the date of issue, and must be renewed every year. Permit renewal follows the same procedure as the initial application. The renewal fee is $500.

Your food handlers permit is your passport for working in the food trade. It cannot be given to another person to use or to be renewed. It should be kept safe and available for inspection.

Your health department conducts training sessions throughout the year to facilitate you. Your friendly Public Health Inspector will provide you with more information if you so desire. Remember, to work in the food trade without a food handlers permit is a serious breach of the public health regulations.

Instruction: After you have completed the form, please take the form to the health department in your parish for processing. Please call (876) 926-1500-2; (876) 906-1291-3 for the Kingston & St.  Andrew Public Health Office is located at 1A Caledonia Crescent, Kingston 5; please call (876) 538-8594 for the St. Catherine Health Department, Burke Road and please call  (876) 984-3318 or (876) 749-0925 for the St. Thomas Health Department.

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