TAP Series Online Food Safety Course

Food Service Worker

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) requires that every retail foodservice operation have at least one employee who holds a “nationally recognized food safety manager certification” such as ServSafe®. Further, a certified person must be available during all hours of the operation (they do not need to be present, but accessible). To receive and maintain certification all individuals are required to pass a certification exam every five (5) years.

The TAP Online Food Safety Certification Course, offered by Penn State Extension, is for individuals preparing for the exam. After completing the online course and passing the proctored, multiple-choice exam with a score of 75% or higher, participants will receive a ServSafe® certificate, which meets the PDA requirement for food safety certification. This certification is valid for 5 years.

The TAP Online Food Safety Certification Course offered by Penn State Extension will help your establishment fulfill this PDA requirement for certification. If you are uncertain as to whether you need certification, contact your regional PDA office.

Note: The online course and exam is only offered in certain areas. Please review exam location information found on the "Contact Us" tab before registering for the course.

Food Safety eLearning Program
  • Provides a self-paced learning experience from work or home.
  • Interactive online learning.
  • Training includes colorful graphics, animations, full-motion video, audio, and interactive learning exercises. Practice exam to prepare learner for the certification exam.
  • Certification exam is a proctored exam and fulfills the PDA Food Employee Certification requirement with a passing score of 75% or higher.
  • Program must be completed within 180 days from the date registrant is enrolled by the instructor.
  • Available in English and Spanish.


The following topics will be covered in this course:

  • The Need for Food Safety Training
  • Foodborne Illness
  • Hygiene, Health & Food Safety
  • Flow of Food: Purchasing, Receiving, Storing, Preparing, Cooking and Serving
  • Environment: Equipment, Cleaning, Sanitizing, Pest Control and Facilities
  • The HACCP System

Is this program right for me?

  1. I am comfortable using a computer.
  2. I have reliable Internet access.
  3. I will have ready access to a computer when it is convenient for me to study.
  4. I learn best by reading and hearing information.
  5. I will set aside time on a regular basis in order to complete the program in the allotted time.
  6. I learn best on my own without additional teacher or student interaction or assistance.

    If you answered “No” to any of these questions, please contact an Extension Educator before registering.


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