How to Acquire a Food Handlers Permit

 For those of you who are interested in pursuing a career in food preparation or would like to establish your own restaurant or bakery; you must first get yourself a Food Handlers Permit. In this article, you will find information on how to apply for a Food Handlers Permit and where to go in each parish to acquire it.
NB: Please note that the information provided below may be outdated. Please check the relevant authorities to verify this information.

Requirements

  • Two (2) passport sized pictures (Signed and stamped and signed by a Justice of the Peace, Minister of Religion or a Superintendent of the Police force)
  • $500 Jamaican dollars application fee
  • Attend a Food Handlers Clinic where you will be taught the rudiments of food safety

Once you have completed your classes you will be given a test and evaluated. Once successful, it will take about 4 to 6 weeks to receive your Food Handlers Permit card.

 NB: In the mean time while you are waiting on your Food Handlers Permit card, you can request a letter to show that you have applied for the Food Handlers Permit and are waiting for it to be issued. If you are a student enrolled in a Food Preparation course, you are also required to apply for a Food Handlers Permit. The cost for the permit is $300 Jamaican dollars.

How to Renew Your Food Handlers Permit

Your Food Handlers Permit card will expire after one (1) year. Once expired, you must take the old permit along with you and complete the following steps:

  1.  Complete Application Form
  2. Pay Application Fee ($500 Jamaican dollars)
  3. Attend Food Handler’s Clinic
  4. Sit and pass the Food Handlers Test (given at end of Clinic)

NB: Both new and renewal clients have to sit through the food handlers clinic which will be conducted by a public health Inspector. For previous permit holders, you may think of this as a refresher course.


NB: Bear in mind that it is possible that your Food Handlers Permit card will not be returned immediately, so it imperative that you always have your receipt.


The Four Regional Health Authorities of Jamaica

Below are the four regional health authorities that oversee the health and medical issues of Jamaica. They are directly in charge of the various parish departments and implement policies that are passed down from the Ministry of Health.

Regional Health Authorities and Parish Health Departments Contact Information (PDF)


South Eastern Regional Health Authority | Food Handlers Clinics Schedule

Parish of Kingston and St. Andrew Health Centres

  • KSA (Kingston & St Andrew Health Department): Every day of the Month. For more information please call 876-926-1550. They are located at 1A Caledonia Crescent, Kingston 5.

Parish of St Catherine Health Centres

  • St. Catherine Health Services
  • Spanish Town1st Wednesday, 3rd Tuesday and 4th Wednesday of every month. For more information, you may contact them at Tel. (876) 907 5483

NB: They conduct three (3) sessions per day at 8:30 AM, 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

  • Greater Portmore: 1st, 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month.
  • Bogwalk: 2nd Tuesday in every month.

  • Linstead: 1st Monday in every month.

  • Sligoville: 2nd Tuesday in every quarter. For more information, you may contact the health centre at (876) 602-3356.
  • Kitson Town: 2nd Wednesday in every two months.

Parish of St Thomas Health Centres

  • Morant Bay Health Department: Every Wednesday in the month for new applicants.

NB: Persons who are renewing should attend the health centre in their area on Tuesday and Thursday. For more information on the dates in specific areas please call (876) 982-1619 or (876) 703 6182. You may also contact the Regional Authority at: (876) 754 3439



Western Regional Health Authority | Food Handlers Clinics Schedule

Parish of Westmoreland Health Centres

  • Darliston: 3rd Tuesdays of each month 9:00 am to 12:00 p.m.
  • Savanna-la-mar: 1st Wednesday of each month 9:00 am to 12:00 p.m.
  • Grange Hill: 1st Tuesday at 9:00 am and 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 2nd Tuesdays at 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.
  • Negril: 4th Tuesdays 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 1st Thursdays 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.
  • White House: 1st Tuesdays 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and 3rd Tuesdays 9:00 am to 12:00 pm each month.

NB: For more information please contact the Westmoreland Health Department at (876) 955 2308


Parish of Hanover Health Centres

  • Lucea: 1st Thursdays 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. 3rd Tuesdays 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Itinerant vendors the 2nd week of July annually.
  • Sandy Bay: 2nd Tuesday 8:30 am to 12:00 pm in every month.
  • Hopewell: 3rd Mondays 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
  • Ramble: 1st Wednesdays 8:30 am to 12:00 pm in every Month.
  • Green Island: 1st Tuesday 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. 4th Wednesdays 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm in every month.

NB: For more information please contact the Hanover Health Department at (876) 956 2731/2604


Parish of St James Health Centres

  • Mount Salem Health Centre: Every Tuesday 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Maroon Town: 3rd Thursdays of every month 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.
  • Cambridge: 3rd Tuesdays of every month 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.

NB: For more information please contact the St. James Health Dept. at (876) 979 7820-4


Parish of Trelawny Health Centres

  • Trelawny Health Department: Every Wednesday 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
  • Dewars Health Centre (Duncans) 2nd Thursdays 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm, 4th Thursdays 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Albert Town: 1st Mondays of each month 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. 2nd Mondays 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

NB: For more information please contact the Trelawny Health Department at (876) 954 4904/3689


Southern Regional Health Authority | Food Handlers Clinics Schedule

Parish of St Elizabeth Health Centres

  • Black River: 2nd Monday and 2nd Wednesday of every month.
  • Southfield: 3rd Monday in every month.
  • Junction: 2nd and 3rd Tuesday in every month, two sessions for the day 9:00 am and 1:00 pm. NB all classes are done by appointment.
  • Newell: 4th Monday in every month, two sessions for the day 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.
  • Santa Cruz: 1st Wednesday of every month for renewal and 3rd Tuesday at 9:00 am for everyone.
  • Maggoty: 3rd Thursday of every month.
  • Balaclava: 1st Monday of every month.

NB: For more information please contact the St. Elizabeth Health Department at High Street, Black River at (876) 965 9174-5



Parish of Clarendon Health Centres

  • Milk River: 4th Thursday of every month
  • Race Course: every quarter in every month, you will have to visit the health to get the exact day in the quarter.
  • Raymond: 1st Wednesday of every month.
  • May Pen: Every Thursday in every month except on 5th Thursday.
  • Chapelton: 3rd Wednesday of every month.
  • Kellits: 4th Thursday of every month.
  • Spalding: 2nd Wednesday of every month.
  • Crost-Hill: 2nd Wednesday of every month.

NB: For more information please contact the Clarendon Health Dept. 1 Brooks Avenue, May Pen (876) 986-4548


Parish of Manchester Health Centres

  • Bellefield: 1st Thursday of every month.
  • Porus: 1st Tuesday in every month.

NB: For more information please contact the Southern Regional Health Authority, at 3 Brumalia Road, Mandeville, Manchester at (876) 625-2110 | (876) 618-1714-5


North Eastern Regional Health Authority | Food Handlers Clinics Schedule

Parish of St Mary Health Centres

  • Highgate: 1st Thursday of every month, call (876) 992 – 2882
  • Annotto Bay: 3rd Thursday of every month, call (876) 996 2034
  • Oracabessa: 2nd Mondays in every month, (876) 726 1625
  • Port Maria: 4th Wednesday in every month, (876) 994-2330

Parish of Portland Health Centres

  • Buff Bay Community Hospital: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month and for every quarter restaurant and catering. (876) 996-1478
  • Hope Bay: 1st Thursday of every month (876) 913 0678
  • Portland Health Department: 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month.
  • Manchioneal Health Centre: 4th Tuesday of every month (876) 993 6323
  • Fair Prospect: 2nd Thursday of every month, (876) 913-1427

Parish of St Ann Health Centres

  • Ocho Rios: 1st and 3rd Monday and Tuesday of every month.
  • St Anns Bay: 2nd and 4th Monday and Tuesday of every month.
  • Moneague: 3rd Wednesday of every month. First timer at 9:00 am and persons renewing at 1:00 pm.
  • Alexanderia: 3rd Wednesday of every month. First timer at 9:00 am and persons renewing at 1:00 pm.
  • Browns Town: 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month. N: B all classes are done by appointment, class begins at 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.

NB: For more information please contact the North Eastern Regional Health Authority at Ocean Village Shopping Centre, Ocho Rios, (876) 795 3107

References: Jamaica Health Tips Online | Career Focus Jamaica