The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department’s Food Handlers Training Program trains and educates food handlers and managers.  Every year about 48 million cases of food borne illness occur and about 3000 people die. The vast majority of these illnesses and deaths could be prevented by proper training and following safe food handling practices.

Anyone who handles food prepared or served to the public must attend a food safety course. Food Handler Cards are issued to individuals, which then allows you to work or volunteer in a food establishment.  Food Permits are issued to establishments such as restaurants, retail food stores, schools, grocery stores, nursing homes, hospitals, caterers, bars, day care centers, food concession stands, churches, mobile food units, vending machines, various indoor and outdoor events, and other business operations which stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption.

All food service workers need to obtain a valid food handler card within thirty (30) days upon hire.  Classes for food handlers are conducted monthly and are designed to educate the proper techniques, methods, and requirements of a food establishment.

The food handler’s course is designed to minimize foodborne illness and stresses employee health, proper hygiene, proper handling of ready-to-eat food, cleaning & sanitizing procedures, food temperature parameters and prevention of cross-contamination by proper food storage and handling. Food workers will learn about the importance of hand washing, critical violations pertaining to the food worker, the causes of foodborne illnesses and personal hygiene issues.

The Environmental Health program at the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department conducts multiple monthly food service worker training classes in both the morning and evening. The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department has partnered with State Food Safety, TAP Series and eFoodhandlers to offer online food service worker classes for purchase.  Individuals, whose schedules do not allow them to attend our in-person classes, should do one of these as an alternative.

West Virginia residents can obtain a 2-year Food Handler Card for $10.00 or a 2-year State Wide Card for $20.00.  Cards issued to volunteers, individuals working in a volunteer setting and receiving no pay, are free and good for 1 year.  Pre-registration is required.

Upon completion of the training course, the Food Handler Card will be issued. This card informs the public that the individual attended and passed the training course and is qualified to work in the food industry or a food establishment handling food. Since 2012, this program has trained over 14,500 people in the Ohio Valley area.

For more information or to register for the next Food Handler’s class call the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department at (304) 234-3682 or visit our website at to see the 2014 Food Handlers Class schedule.