Guide to Obtaining a New Mexico Food Handler Card


Guide to Obtaining a New Mexico Food Handler Card

Are you someone from the restaurant industry who is considering working in New Mexico? Did you know that you need a food handler card to work there? No? Don’t worry; we’ve got your back. In this blog, you will learn everything from obtaining a food handler card to getting one before you start working in New Mexico. So, let’s get straight to the point.

What is a Food Handler Card?

A Food Handler Card is nothing but a certificate or license required by all employees who work in the food industry, given certain exceptions that we will discuss later in the blog. In New Mexico, too, except in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, a food handler certificate is required by people working with food equipment or utensils, unpackaged food, or food-contact surfaces.

You must be wondering why it is so important to obtain a food handler certificate. We all know food contamination can occur at any stage of food preparation, causing many foodborne diseases, such as food poisoning. So, to avoid such mishaps, employees in the food industry are required to take a course and pass the exam to get a food handler certificate.

But yes, there are a few exceptions to this. What are these? Let’s find out.

Some individuals are exempted from needing a food handlers New Mexico card, given that they have still undergone food safety training at their workplace. You are not required to obtain a food handlers New Mexico certificate if:

  • You are handling non-time temperature control for safety(TCS)food, including unprepared or uncut fruits and vegetables and shelf-stable food.
  • You already possess a valid Certified Food Protection Manager Certification.
  • You work on temporary events as a food handlers.
  • You work voluntarily or occasionally as a food handler, such as a host, a teacher assisting with family-style dining, or a healthcare employee assisting patients.

Stepwise Guide to Obtaining New Mexico Food Handler Card

Obtaining a food handler New Mexico card is a crucial step in ensuring you meet the requirements. In this stepwise guide, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining your New Mexico food handlers card, from understanding the requirements to completing the necessary training. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Understand the Requirements

Before proceeding, it’s essential to understand who needs a food handler card in New Mexico. Generally, anyone who handles food, utensils, or food-contact surfaces in food establishments within 30 days of employment is required to obtain a food handler card.

Step 2: Choose an Approved Training Program

Once you’ve determined that you need a food handlers New Mexico card, the next step is to enroll in an approved training program. New Mexico requires that training programs be accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) to ensure they meet state standards.

Look for programs that cover essential food safety topics, including food hazards, personal hygiene, time and temperature controls, cleaning and sanitizing, and cross-contamination.

Step 3: Complete the Training Course

Once you’ve selected a training program, it’s time to complete the course. Most programs are designed to be completed online and can typically be finished in two hours or less. The course will cover important food safety principles and prepare you for the final assessment.

Step 4: Pass the Assessment

After completing the training course, you’ll need to pass an assessment to showcase your understanding of food safety principles. The assessment usually consists of multiple-choice questions, and you’ll need to achieve a passing score, typically 70% or higher, to obtain your food handler card.

Step 5: Receive Your Food Handler Card

Upon passing the assessment, you’ll receive your New Mexico food handlers New Mexico card. This card serves as proof that you’ve completed the necessary training and are qualified to handle food in New Mexico food establishments. Keep your card in a safe place, and make sure to renew it before it expires, typically every three years.

Obtaining your New Mexico food handler card is straightforward. It involves understanding the requirements, choosing an approved training program, completing the training course, passing the assessment, and receiving your card.

Some Tips To Consider While Obtaining A New Mexico Food Handler Card

When obtaining your food handler New Mexico card, consider the following tips to ensure a smooth and successful process:

  1. Research Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements for acquiring a food handler certificate in New Mexico, including any exemptions or special considerations that may apply to your situation.
  2. Choose a Reputable Training Program: Select only those training programs accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and cover essential food safety topics. Look for programs that offer online courses for convenience and flexibility.
  3. Study Course Materials: Take the time to thoroughly study the course materials provided by your chosen training program. Pay close attention to key concepts such as food hazards, personal hygiene, time and temperature controls, and cleaning and sanitizing practices.
  4. Take Practice Tests: Many training programs offer mock tests to help you prepare for the final assessment. Use these resources to test your understanding of the material and identify any areas that may need additional review.
  5. Review Frequently Asked Questions: Familiarize yourself with common questions and scenarios that may appear on the assessment. This will help you feel more confident and prepared on test day.
  6. Practice Good Study Habits: Set a dedicated time every day to study and revise your course materials. Minimize distractions and create a quiet, focused study environment to maximize your learning potential.
  7. Stay Calm and Confident: During the assessment, stay calm and confident in your abilities. Trust in the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired during your training, and approach the test with a positive mindset.

By following these tips, you can enhance your chances of successfully obtaining your New Mexico food handler card and demonstrate your commitment to food safety practices in the workplace.


In order to work lawfully as a food service employee in New Mexico, you must obtain a food handlers New Mexico card within 30 days of working in the restaurant industry. With proper training and practice, while keeping in mind the tips provided above, you can easily pass the exam to obtain the New Mexico food handler certificate.

This will take us one step further to ensuring food safety standards. Not only will you be complying with the rules and regulations of the state government, but also contribute to the public health and well-being of your fellow citizens.

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