The manager at each food service site participating in USDA Child Nutrition Programs must be certified initially and participate in ongoing sanitation and food safety training.  USDA administrative rules clarify that all local agencies participating in USDA Child Nutrition Programs must also comply with the “red book,” North Dakota Requirements for Food and Beverage Establishments Regulatory Code.

The manager may be referred to as the site manager, kitchen manager, or lead worker in the food service and should be listed as the Lead Foodservice Worker (LFSW) on the online site application in ND Foods. Usually, there is only one LFSW per site. Some LFSWs have educational backgrounds or training that may exempt them from taking the initial course if they were hired before July 2015. According to federal regulation, 7 CFR 210.30 (B)(1)(v), school nutrition program directors must have completed at least eight hours of food safety training within five years of their start date or complete it once hired. The 2013 Food Code identifies all lead food service workers who have completed Food safety and sanitation training of at least 8 hours with a ‘Certification of Completion’ issued.

Documentation (transcript and/or training certificate) should be provided to our office.

A new LFSW of a school nutrition program will have up to six months from the start of duties to complete the initial sanitation/food safety training (SAN). A local health unit may require the training earlier. A course update/review (SANU) must be taken every five years after completing the initial course. Update courses will be provided at no cost by NDDPI online.

Fax or scan to our office your certificate when you have completed the training. The fax number is (701) 328-9566. Make sure your school name is on the certificate. Scan certificates to

Initial Sanitation Training

Initial Sanitation Training
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Option A: The Institute of Child Nutrition’s “Food Safety in Schools”

8-hour online self-paced training

This training will transfer only among Child Nutrition programs; it is not portable to restaurants or other establishments requiring Food Safety certification.

Title of TrainingSponsoring AgencyClassroom or Online Fee 
Certification Length
Food Safety in Schools Institute of Child NutritionClassroom or OnlineNo* 5 years

*In order to receive credit, a copy of the certificate verifying successful completion of training must be submitted to our office by email at or by mail to Dept. of Public Instruction, CNFD, 600 E Boulevard Ave, Dept. 201, Bismarck, ND 58505-0440 OR by fax to (701) 328-9566. Please identify the name of the site where you work. This may be the daycare, a school district, an RCCI, etc. CLICK on Register - upper right-hand corner of your screen

To access the course “Food Safety in Schools” on the Institute of Child Nutrition website:

  1. CLICK on Register - upper right-hand corner of your screen
  2. Fill out your account information and write down your username and password so you will be able to log back into your account—CLICK on Next
  3. Enter information to Register as a New User – Click on Register
  4. CLICK Course Catalog – Green Box in Middle of the Page
  5. Scroll Down to the “Food Safety in Schools” Course (the icon/picture for this course has a steam table pan of green peas with a spoon in it) – Click on Enroll
  6. Click on the Blue “Enroll” Box in the right-hand corner
  7. In Pop-Up Box - Click on “Start Learning Now” in the middle of the screen
  8. Online Learning Video will be displayed – Click on “Start Learning Now” on either the video or on the right-hand side of the screen showing the contents of the course.
  9. You can download the Instructions for Completing Online Courses and navigate through Lessons. 
  • If you don’t have enough time to complete the course in one sitting, you will be able to stop and then return to the place at which you stopped. (You will need to know your username and password.)
  • If you are interested in becoming SNA certified, you can use this 8-hour sanitation class along with the Nutrition 101 class also provided on the ICN website for level 1 SNA certification.
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Option B: Certified Food Manager Training Exam

Alternative Private Training that can replace the 8-hour Sanitation Training

Some local health units do not accept the “Food Safety in Schools” course as initial sanitation training as it is not ANSI-certified.   Please check out the ND Department of Health website under the ‘Food and Lodging’ section for a list of 6 companies offering Food Safety training courses that are approved by all North Dakota local regulatory authorities.  Click Here to go to the Food Employee Food Safety Training page of the North Dakota Department of Health’s Food and Lodging Office.

The companies offering the training that is accepted by NDDPI Child Nutrition and Food Distribution for Lead Foodservice Worker requirements include the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals, Learn2Serve, Ready Training Online, ServSafe, and The Always Food Safe Company.

These companies offer their training courses for a fee ranging from just under $100 to almost $300.  Most also have an added fee to cover the cost of their exam.  Training is offered online or in-person classroom.  Some offer their exams online as well, but most require a proctor to be present when the exam is written. Be sure to check out all the companies to identify the one that best fits your needs

In order to meet our school nutrition program requirements, a copy of the certificate verifying successful completion of training must be submitted to our office by mail to Dept. of Public Instruction, CNFD, 600 E Boulevard Ave, Dept. 201, Bismarck, ND 58505-0440 OR by fax to (701) 328-9566. Please identify for which child nutrition program you work.

On-Line Sanitation Update—3 Hour (SANU)

On-Line Sanitation Update—3 Hour (SANU)
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Option 1

Lead food service workers, usually the manager, at each site are required to complete SanU every 5 years after initial certification. If you need to renew, please view the training below. There is a required worksheet within the presentation that must be filled out and sent in. Send it to

Take the Online 3-Hour ND School Kitchen Sanitation Update Training.
(This does not count as the initial-hour course, however, it does count for professional development.)

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Option 2

3-hour YouTube video self-paced training

  • The class can be taken by clicking on each of the seven lessons below and listening to the narrated slide show.

    NOTE: You must write the code on the certificate for validation that you completed all lesson plans. The code will be provided throughout the lesson plans.

    Please review the following documents referred to in the lessons before watching.

    North Dakota Food Code (Reference in Introduction) - Printing not needed - 96 pages
    FDA's Database for Foodborne Illness Risk Factors (Appendix A  in Lesson A)
    Common Foodborne Illness / Bacteria and Viruses (Appendix B in Lesson A)
    Self-Reporting Procedure Handout (Appendix C in Lesson B)
    Temperature Control Record (Reference in Lesson C) 
    Introduction- Welcome
    Lesson A- The Sanitation Challenge
    Lesson B - The Safe Food Handler
    Lesson C - Receiving and Storage of Safe Food
    Lesson D- Protecting Food in Preparation
    Lesson E- Clean Kitchen Savvy
    Conclusion- Congratulations

    Completed Certificates may also be emailed to
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Option 3

Sanitation Update through First District Health Unit (FDHU):

(FDHU Counties: Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, McLean, Renville, Sheridan, Ward)

All food employees in the 7-county area of FDHU are required to take a ‘Food Safety for Food Service Employees’ class.  This is a 4-hour class, in-person or an 8-part online training after which a test must be successfully passed.  The training will count for a Sanitation Update if the certificate of completion is sent to the NDDPI CNFD office.

Wealth of Information on Food Safety

Wealth of Information on Food Safety
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Resources for Training School Kitchen Staff in Food Safety

Retail Food Protection: Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook | FDA

US FDA Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook: This short handbook has excellent information on employee illness reporting plus decision trees to exclude or restrict sick employees from their duties.

Food Code Guide for Food Handlers_2022.pdf

Specific for North Dakota Food Code  N.D.A.C. 33-33-04.1 Effective January 1, 2018; Based on the 2013 FDA Model Food Code. About 50 pages of great on-the-job material

All the Food Safety resources are available on the Institute of Child Nutrition website.  These include the posters, videos, fact sheets, SOPs, How-to’s, etc.: Food Safety Resources – Institute of Child Nutrition ( 

Quick access to the Food Safety Posters for the School Kitchen

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Videos for use in Training:

Reporting Employee Illness:

Also available on the same web address is ‘Using Thermometers’; ‘Preventing Illness’; and ‘Handwashing’

Mock Health Inspection: Mock Health Inspection – Institute of Child Nutrition ( (7:53 minutes)  Great video to watch as an inspector to see what is wrong.

Food Safety Ninja’s: 

These were made possible with collaboration from Lake County General Health District and Ohio Dept of Health and Agriculture; the CDC and FDA