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All individuals preparing to work in food-handling establishments are required by law to have a food handler’s permit prior to employment, regardless of their role. Persons enrolled in hospitality and catering programmes who are required to handle food as part of their course of study also need permits.

The Application Process

Applicants are required to provide a form of valid identification (passport, driver’s licence or national identification card) and pay a fee, at the regional health authority.

  1. Candidates should complete a food handler’s permit application form, which is available at any of the 13 parish health department offices islandwide. New applicants are also required to submit two passport-sized pictures that are stamped and signed by a Justice of the Peace, Superintendent of Police or Minister of Religion.
  2. They are required to attend a food handler’s training session on the date specified by the authority. This session is led by a public health officer and covers the basic requirements of food safety. Applicants are then given a test to ensure that they understand the content that was delivered.
  3. Permits are issued to successful applicants, upon completion of the test. Unsuccessful candidates will be informed and invited to re-sit the training session and test.

Graduates of culinary programmes in recognised training institutions and prospective food handlers who have the requisite training are not required to attend the training sessions but must take the test.
All food handler’s permits are valid for one year and renewal follows the same procedure as the initial application.


For additional information, contact:
Ministry of Health and Wellness
10-16 Grenada Way
Kingston 5
Tel: 876-633-8172/876-633-7771/876-633-8103/876-633-7433
Fax: 876-622-8364
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @themohgovjm


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