Minnesota Certified Food Manager (Cfmc wallet card: To see a sample certificate please click this image.FM)

The Minnesota certified food manager (CFM) is a leader for the food establishment’s food safety team. The CFM is recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) as meeting specific training requirements, and helps reduce the risk of foodborne illness by demonstrating safe food handling practices and sharing food safety knowledge with the food establishment’s employees.

Minnesota Certified Food Manager Fact Sheet (PDF: 129KB/2 page)

This fact sheet provides information about the duties of the CFM, how to obtain certification and CFM requirements for food establishments as described in Minnesota Rules, parts 4626.2000 through 4626.2020.

On this page:

Initial Certification
Renewal Certification
Required Training
Approved Exams
Frequently Asked Questions
Types of food establishments required to have a Certified Food Manager


The CFM must have the knowledge, skills and abilities to complete the following duties:

  • Identify any hazards in the daily operation of the food establishment.
  • Develop and implement policies and procedures to prevent foodborne illness.
  • Coordinate employee food safety training to ensure at least one person in charge (PIC) is present whenever food is being prepared.
  • Direct food preparation activities and take corrective action as needed, to protect the health of the consumer.
  • Conduct periodic in-house self-inspections of daily operations to ensure that food safety policies and procedures are followed.

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Initial Certification

If you have never been a Minnesota CFM:

  • Attend a training course and pass an approved exam.
  • Mail initial application, exam certificate and $35 fee to MDH, P.O Box 64495, St. Paul, MN 55164-0495.

Apply for initial Minnesota CFM no more than 36 months after passing the exam.

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Certification Renewal

Minnesota CFM expires three years from the effective date printed on the MDH certificate. To renew certification:

  • Complete four (4) or more hours of approved training.
  • Mail renewal application, approved training certificate(s) and $35 fee to MDH, P.O Box 64495, St. Paul, MN 55164-0495.

Take renewal training after the effective date and no more than one year after the expiration date printed on the MDH certificate.

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Required Training

Approved CFM training courses for both initial and renewal certification are offered by many private companies, community and technical colleges, some local agencies and the University of Minnesota Extension. MDH does not offer training, but does approve trainers and courses.

A list of approved trainers and a schedule of courses is available at www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/food/fmc/courses.html.

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Approved Exams

Applicants for initial certification must provide proof they have passed one of the following exams:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions are below. Contact the agency that issues the license for the establishment for more information about local ordinances and how the Minnesota food code applies to your establishment.

As the restaurant owner, do I have to be the CFM?

No. While many restaurant owners decide to be the CFM for their establishment, it is not required. An effective CFM has a good working knowledge of your business and has the authority to conduct the CFM duties in your establishment.

How many CFMs are required for a food establishment?

Minnesota food code requires a food establishment to employ one full-time CFM. Local jurisdictions may have stricter requirements.

Can I be the CFM for more than one location?

No, except for at a satellite or catered feeding location.

How long do I have to hire or train a new CFM?

When the CFM leaves employment, the establishment must hire another Minnesota CFM or enroll a current or new employee in an approved food manager certification training course within 45 days. Minnesota food code requires new food establishments to have a CFM on staff within 45 days of opening. Local jurisdictions may have stricter requirements.

Are there exemptions from CFM requirements?

Yes, certain food establishments—based on license type or food preparation activities—are exempt from Minnesota CFM requirements. A list of exemptions to CFM requirements is found in Minnesota Rules, part 4626.2010, subpart 4 and on the Food Manager Certification Web page.

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Types of Food Establishments Required to Have a Certified Food Manager

Most food establishments, with some exceptions listed below, are required to have a Certified Food Manager.

Some of the establishments that do not have to employ a certified food manager are:

  • Food establishments where food preparation activities are only one or more of these:
    • Heating or serving precooked hot dogs or sausages, popcorn, nachos, pretzels or frozen pizza.
    • Preparing or serving continental breakfast.
    • Preparing or serving beverages or ice.
    • Grinding coffee beans.
    • Packaging non-potentially hazardous foods.
    • Serving bulk foods.
    • Processing raw meat, poultry, fish or wild game intended for further cooking after sale.
    • Heating as the only preparation for a bakery product.
    • Providing prepackaged food in its original package.
    • Cleaning or sanitizing eating, drinking or cooking utensils.
  • Boarding establishments, bed and breakfast facilities, child care or adult day care facilities that serve 18 or fewer meals per mealtime.
  • Food carts, mobile food units, seasonal permanent or temporary food stands, special event food stands, retail food vehicles, portable structures, carts or vending machines.
  • An establishment that provides no more than one meal per week and its main purpose is not food service.
  • A nursing home, hospital, boarding care home or supervised living facility, if only patients and staff are served.

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Updated Monday, February 24, 2014 at 11:30AM