NYC Food Protection Certificate 2024

NYC Food Protection Certificate 2024: The NYC Food Protection Certificate Exam is managed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). This certification is designed for individuals who wish to operate food service establishments or non-retail food service establishments in New York City. Here are some key points about the exam and certification:

NYC Food Protection Certificate

  1. Purpose: The Food Protection Course trains individuals in food protection practices to ensure food safety in New York City’s food establishments. The primary goal is to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
  2. Course Requirement: Individuals must complete a food protection course before taking the final exam. This course can be taken in person or online. The course covers essential topics related to food safety, including foodborne illnesses, safe food handling practices, and sanitation.
  3. Exam Details: The final exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess an individual’s knowledge of the course material.
  4. Certification: Those who pass the exam receive a Food Protection Certificate. This certificate is typically valid for a specific period, after which renewal might be necessary.
  5. Who Needs the Certificate: In NYC, every food service establishment must have at least one person with a valid Food Protection Certificate on duty whenever the establishment receives, prepares, cooks, or serves food.
  6. Languages: The exam and course materials are typically offered in multiple languages to accommodate the diverse population of New York City.
  7. Renewal: The certificate never expires
  8. COVID-19 Pandemic Changes: The COVID-19 pandemic led to adjustments in how the course and exam were administered, including the potential for remote online exams. Make sure to check the latest guidelines from the DOHMH.

NYC Food Protection Exam

  1. Types of Questions: The exam consists primarily of multiple-choice questions. These questions test your knowledge of foodborne illnesses, safe food handling and storage practices, pest control, sanitation methods, and other topics covered in the food protection course.
  2. Number of Questions: The specific number of questions can vary, but historically, the exam has had about 50 questions.
  3. Duration: Typically, you are given a set amount of time to complete the exam, often around 90 minutes, but you’ll want to check the specific guidelines provided when you register or take the online course.
  4. Passing Score: The exact passing score may vary, but historically, you needed to correctly answer at least 70% of the questions to pass.
  5. Retake Policy: If you do not pass the exam on the first try, you typically can retake it, though there might be a waiting period and potentially additional fees.
  6. Languages: The exam is offered in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, among others.
Certification Food Protection Certificate
States New York City
Test Mode Online/in-person
Question Types Multiple Choice
Total items 50
Minimum Passing Marks 70%
Time Duration 90 minutes
Certificate Validity Lifetime
Course Cost Free
Exam Cost $24, plus a $0.60 convenience fee.

It’s important to note that exam patterns, policies, and procedures can change over time. I recommend checking with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the NYC Food Protection Certificate Exam or visiting their official website.


If you’re preparing for the NYC Food Protection Certificate exam, there are several resources available that can aid in your studies:

NYC Health Department’s Food Protection Course:

The primary resource recommended for anyone preparing for the exam is the free Food Protection Course offered by the NYC Health Department. This course, which can be taken online or in person, provides all the information necessary to pass the exam.

Food Protection Course Manual:

The NYC Health Department also offers a free downloadable manual, essentially the course textbook. This manual contains extensive information on New York City food safety practices, regulations, and protocols.

Online Practice Tests and Quizzes:

Several websites and platforms offer practice tests and quizzes to help applicants familiarize themselves with the exam format and assess their knowledge. Always ensure the reliability of the source before trusting the content.

Review NYC Health Code:

The actual regulations that pertain to food establishments in NYC are available on the NYC Health Department’s website. These can be dense, but they are the actual rules you will be expected to know and follow.

Videos and Tutorials:

Numerous videos on platforms like YouTube cover food safety, sanitation, and best practices. Before taking them as fact, adhere to NYC regulations and guidelines.

The NYC Health Academy
160 West 100th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10025.