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MCHD to begin teaching well-known ServSafe food manager course

Monongalia County Health Department added a second food manager certification course to its roster of food safety classes.

“ServSafe is another option to get people certified,” said Natalie Davis, Sanitarian II with MCHD Environmental Health, who will be teaching the class.

More than 4 million foodservice professionals have been certified through the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification Exam, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANAB) Conference for Food Protection, according to information at

MCHD Environmental Health offers a variety of food handler classes, with online and in-person options for food handlers and person-in-charge training.

The National Registry course for managers, currently taught by Registered Sanitarian Joe Lawson, will also continue.

Depending on the situation, food managers might be interested in either course.

“A couple of people I’ve spoken to are leaning toward ServSafe because it’s more well-known,” Davis said. “One person I talked to is a manager and he gets moved around to different locations, and he knows ServSafe would be accepted no matter where he goes.”

Monongalia County Health Department provides a robust slate of courses for food handlers, and sanitarians also inspect area restaurants. More information can be found on all offered food safety courses at

Courses are based on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Food Code. Effective July 1, 2019, the state of West Virginia updated from the 2008 Food Code to the 2013 version, with plans to eventually update again to the 2022 FDA Food Code.

Updating the Food Code requires new materials and training for teachers, which helps account for the state’s time lag in adopting the newer version.

“ServSafe provides a structured delivery of materials in correspondence with their manual,” said MCHD Registered Sanitarian Jennifer Costolo-Michael. On the other hand, “National Registry does not provide a curriculum. We developed our own training deck that is based on the sections of the FDA Food Code.”

Both Davis and Costolo-Michael received ServSafe training in 2023, during the annual mid-year meeting of the West Virginia Association of Sanitarians and are both qualified to teach it.

“For the foreseeable future, we’ll be teaching both ServSafe and National Registry,” said Todd Powroznik, MCHD Environmental Health program manager.

There is a need for both platforms, he continued. “The whole reason we got into this is because there was a need for another platform. There are a lot of franchise restaurants that require ServSafe.”

MCHD Environmental will teach its first two-day ServSafe certification class on March 12-13.

Registration closed in mid-February because of the need to order materials three weeks in advance.

Future 2024 ServSafe classes will be taught May 15-16, June 11-12, July 16-17, Aug. 13-14 and Oct. 15-16.

The first day of class takes place from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and the second-day tentative schedule is from 8:30 a.m.-noon. It includes brief instruction and a timed exam.

The cost is $150 for the class and exam and $100 just for the exam with the student attending just on the second day. Books are available for an additional $25 and will be provided after registration.

Textbooks are available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean, while online courses are available in English and Spanish.

Classes take place in the lower level Training Room at Monongalia County Health Department, 453 Van Voorhis Road, Morgantown. Call 304-598-5131 to register.

“ServSafe is accepted in all 50 states, which makes it ideal for single- and multi-unit operations,” Davis said.