Division of Environmental Health

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our Environmental Health Services office at 10777 Main Street in Fairfax is open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Clinic services are not offered at this location.
703-246-2201 TTY 711
10777 Main Street, Suite 100
Fairfax, VA 22030
Pieter A. Sheehan, REHS
Director, Division of Environmental Health

Certified Food Manager Guidelines

Certified Food Protection Manager Requirement

Food establishments operating in Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church must be under the immediate supervision of a food manager who has taken and passed an accredited exam and has the test certificate available.

Note: As of January 26, 2021, the Northern Virginia Food Manager’s card is no longer required for food establishments operating with a Fairfax County Health Department permit.

Environmental Health Specialists will ask for and validate that the establishment is under the immediate control of an accredited manager by checking the accredited exam certificate. We will also continue to focus our inspection on ensuring that the establishment is under active managerial control, and that all staff are trained in food safety.

Are there exceptions to the requirement for a Certified Food Protection Manager?

A Certified Food Protection Manager is not required for food establishments that have non-TCS foods and/or do no food preparation or handling. For these food establishments, the Limited Food Manager certificate is required.

Please contact the Health Department at 703-246-2201 to find out how to obtain the Limited Food Manager certificate.

How do you become a Certified Food Protection Manager?

To become a Certified Food Protection Manager, you must take and pass an accredited exam. A list of accredited exams is listed below. During your inspection, the Certified Food Protection Manager will be asked to provide evidence that they have taken and passed an accredited exam. They will also be asked food safety questions based on this credential.

What exams are accredited?

The following organizations are accredited as of August 2022:

Please note: certificates issued by previously accredited organizations are valid until the expiration date on the certificate.

How do I prepare to take the exam?

Some of the organizations that offer exam preparation courses is provided below. An accredited exam is often offered upon completion of these courses. You will need to contact the vendors for details.

The Health Department encourages managers to take a course prior to taking an exam, but a course is not required to take the exam.

Name Contact Information Courses and Languages Offered Exams and Languages Offered
1 AAA Food Manager 714-592-4100  On-line: English, Spanish English, Spanish
The Always Food Safe Company


On-line: English English, Spanish
Food Marketing Institute


English, Spanish English, Spanish

ORS Interactive


English, Spanish English, Spanish
Premier Food Safety


In-person: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese 

On-line: English 

English, Spanish, Chinese, French Canadian, Japanese,  Korean
Restaurant Association of Metro Washington



English, Spanish, Chinese, French Canadian, Japanese, Korean

Large Print 

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association


English English


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