Food Manager Certification FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions about Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification Requirements (FSSMC)

Question: Are Certificates with expiration dates stating "By Revocation" still valid?

Answer: No, these FSSMC issued between 1974 and 1983, were revoked in 1989 by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the State Code was changed requiring that all certificates be renewed every five years. At the time of revocation, persons holding a "By Revocation" Certificate were given a five year grace period (1994) to obtain a new certificate after payment of a $35 fee. If a Manager has a "By Revocation" Certificate they must attend an approved 15 hour Certification Course, pass the exam and pay the $35 fee to obtain a new Certificate (Section 750.551 IDPH Food sanitation Code).

Question: Do Certificates from other states or private companies meet Illinois State requirements?

Answer: Currently, only City of Chicago Certificates can be accepted instead of an Illinois State Certificate. If a Manager has attended a course in Illinois that meets Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) requirements and passes the exam, they will receive an application notice from IDPH saying they are eligible for an Illinois Certificate. They must then complete the application and submit the required $35 fee to receive a valid certificate. A certificate of completion from a private company is not equivalent to an Illinois Certificate. If an operator believes they have taken a course outside of Illinois that meets State requirements, they may send an application and information about that course to IDPH. If IDPH verifies that the course meets Illinois State requirements they will be notified and billed for the fee (6-9 weeks).


Question: What are the options for renewing a valid Illinois FSSM Certificate?

Answer: There are three ways to renew:

1. Attend an approved 5 hour refresher course
2. Attend an approved 15 hour FSSMC course (no exam required)
3. Take and pass an approved "re-certification exam". Arrangements to take the test must be made with a regional office of IDPH at least two weeks prior to the Certificate expiration date. The test may not be retaken, if failed. The regional office of IDPH for the DuPage County area is in West Chicago (630) 293-6800.

No matter which option is chosen, the requirement must be completed prior to the Certificate expiration date.


Question: Will IDPH send Managers' a renewal application?

Answer: Only if they have a current address for the person. If their address is up to date, they will receive a letter explaining the new renewal requirements one-year in advance and a renewal application three months before their expiration date. If the operator has not received an application, they may submit the FSSMC Request Form. Copies of this form can be obtained from your Sanitarian or by calling IDPH at (217) 785-2439.

DuPage County Health Department, 111 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, Illinois 60187, (630) 682-7400, TDD (630) 932-1447