CHICAGO – The Illinois food-handler training law goes into effect July 1. The law requires all foodservice employees who prepare, store or serve food, handle food equipment, food utensils or food-contact surfaces to receive basic food-safety training through accredited programs.

Requirements take effect in July, but no fines will be assessed until Jan. 1, 2015.

Employers are not required to pay for an employee's time and expense to take the training and test, which can be done online or in person. Certificates must be renewed every three years, and employers must maintain physical or electronic proof of their employees' food handler training. The cost of training is limited to $15.

The National Restaurant Association noted that Illinois food-handler training must include "monitoring food temperatures, foodborne illness, personal hygiene, food contamination prevention, cleaning and sanitizing equipment and utensils, and problems and solutions associated with temperature control, cross-contamination, housekeeping and maintenance." Training must begin within 30 days of starting employment.