Certified Food Safety Manager


A Certified Food Safety Manager (CFSM) is a full-time employee of one specific food service establishment; this person has a Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) issued certificate. The CFSM certificate is issued to the individual not the facility. The individual may serve as the CFSM for one facility only.

Manager Certification Programs

Be sure you are taking a Manager Certification course and NOT a Food Handlers course. A Manager Certification course will end with you taking a proctored exam and receiving a “Nationally Accredited Food Protection Certificate.” The certificate signifies that the employee has completed a food safety and sanitation course that has been approved by OPH. The course must have been completed within the past five years. 

The ANSI National Accreditation Board maintains a list of nationally recognized food protection manager certification programs on its website. Completion of any of the MANAGER food protection certification programs will serve as a valid food employee certification for your facility. Different types of certification programs are available. It is your responsibility to ensure you are taking a MANAGEMENT course, NOT a food handler course.

Exemption Requests

Exemption requests for certified food safety manager may be granted to a food establishment which has submitted a written request of exemption to the OPH and has met the following requirements: 

  1. A food establishment where only commercially prepackaged food is handled and/or sold. This includes TCS food (time/temperature controlled for food safety) and non-TCS food.
  2. A food establishment that handles only non-TCS food. 
  3. Voluntary, non-profit groups in compliance to Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture guidelines may not be required to employ a certified food safety manager.

The request should include the name and address of facility, purpose, and a list of food items sold and it should be signed and dated by the owner/manager. If the exemption is granted, then OPH will issue an approval letter for the facility to post in view of the public.


Individuals must complete the Reciprocity Application in order to receive an OPH certificate after completing an OPH-approved course within the past five years.

It is your responsibility to get certified every 5 years, reminder letters will no longer be sent out.