Food Service Training

 Brochure explaining SDRA's foodservice and alcohol training programs
(PDF format / 6 pages / may take some time to load)

2016 Training Schedule / Registration Form (PDF format / 2 pages)



SDRA offers three types of foodservice training classes:

  • 8-hour live ServSafe® class for certification or recertification
  • 4-hour live state-approved recertification class
  • Online ServSafe® course with proctored test

Note: Pre-Registration and Pre-Payment is Required For All Foodservice Classes




8-hour National Certification / Recertification Member

8-hour National Certification / Recertification Nonmember

4-hour State Recertification Member

4-hour State Recertification Nonmember


Reschedule Fee

Online Certification Member

Online Certification Nonmember











ServSafe® National Certification / Recertification (8-Hour Class + Test) - 2016 Class Dates

NOTE: After you pass your ServSafe® test, you will receive you certificate via email, so be sure to include your email address on the registration form. We will mail the course workbook to you after we receive your registration and payment.


Month Aberdeen Pierre Rapid City Sioux Falls Watertown
Jan 2016     Tues., Jan. 19, 2016

Wed., Jan. 13, 2016

Feb 2016     Tues., Feb. 23, 2016 Wed., Feb. 10, 2016  
Mar 2016   Wed., Mar. 16, 2016 Tues., Mar. 22, 2016 Wed., Mar. 9, 2016  
Apr 2016     Tues., Apr. 19, 2016 Wed., Apr. 6, 2016 Wed., April 13, 2016
May 2016 Wed., May 11, 2016   Tues., May 24, 2016 Wed., May 4, 2016  
June 2016     Tues., June 21, 2016

Wed., June 1, 2016


Wed., June 22, 2016

July 2016     Tues., July 19, 2016

Wed., July 13, 2016

Aug 2016   Wed., Aug. 3, 2016  

Wed., Aug. 10, 2016

Sept 2016     Tues., Sept. 20, 2016

Wed., Sept. 7, 2016

Wed., Sept. 14, 2016
Oct 2016 Wed., Oct. 19, 2016   Tues., Oct. 18, 2016 Wed., Oct. 5, 2016  
Nov 2016     Tues., Nov. 15, 2016 Wed., Nov. 2, 2016  
Dec 2016     Tues., Dec. 6, 2016 Wed., Dec. 7, 2016  


State Recertification (4-Hour Class*) - 2016 Class Dates

Month Aberdeen Pierre Rapid City Sioux Falls Watertown
Jan 2016          
Feb 2016     Tues., Feb. 9, 2016 Wed., Feb. 3, 2016  
Mar 2016   Tues., Mar. 15, 2016      
Apr 2016       Wed., Apr. 20, 2016 Tues., April 12, 2016
May 2016 Tues., May 10, 2016        
June 2016     Tues., June 7, 2016    
July 2016       Wed., July 6, 2016  
Aug 2016   Tues., Aug. 2, 2016      
Sept 2016         Tues., Sept. 13, 2016
Oct 2016 Tues., Oct. 18, 2016   Tus., Oct. 4, 2016 Wed., Oct. 12, 2016  
Nov 2016          
Dec 2016          


The State of South Dakota requires food service establishments to have at least one person on staff who has passed an eight-hour food service training and certification program. Recertification is required every 5 years. The requirement is part of the South Dakota Food Service Code, which is designed to help ensure customers receive food that has been properly stored, handled, prepared and served.

What Type of Class Do you Need?

National ServSafe® Certification / Recertification (valid for 5 years):

Choose a live or online class to get your first-time certification. These options may also be used when it's time to be recertified IF you want to maintain your national ServSafe® certification.

  • Live class and test: Take an 8-hour ServSafe® class and a test.
  • Online: Prefer an online option? Go through the ServSafe® course online at your convenience, then take a test with a certified ServSafe® proctor. (This is a printed exam, and is not available online.)
  • ServSafe® test only: When you're being recertified, if you would like to keep your national ServSafe® certification, you have the option of just taking the test at a regularly scheduled live class -or- with a ServSafe® proctor.

State Recertification Class (valid for 5 years):

If you have a current (unexpired) certification and are renewing it, you may choose this option.

  • 4-hour state program - no test: This provides a short refresher program with NO GRADED TEST. This is a live class only; it is not available online. It is only valid in South Dakota.

*The 4-hour program does not maintain the national ServSafe® certification, but it does meet the requirements of the South Dakota Department of Health. The 4-hour class is based on the ServSafe® course, but there is no test at the end of the course, and no book to study beforehand. This course also offers an economical way to train ALL employees on basic food handling techniques. (NOTE: The 4-hour course does not meet the recertification requirements for health care facilities. Some franchises have contracts that require them to take the ServSafe® recertification program and don't allow staff at those businesses to take the 4-hour state recertification program).


All participants who attend the 8-hour ServSafe® Certification / Recertification program will receive a course workbook. It will be mailed to you as soon as the South Dakota Retailers Association receives your registration form and fee. The workbook should be studied prior to the class. 

Pre-Registration and Pre-Payment is Required

Pre-registration - including payment - is required prior to the class, whether you are becoming certified for the first time or are being recertified.

Due to high demand for classes, SDRA is not able to reserve a spot in a class until payment is received. Be sure to register early, as seating is limited. A fee is charged for rescheduling a class and for retesting.

Live Course Agendas

8-Hour ServSafe® Certification / Recertification Classes: 

  • 7:45 a.m. - check in
  • 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.- instruction
  • Noon - lunch on your own
  • 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. - certification exam (NOTE: after you pass the test, you will receive your certification via email within 7 to 10 days, so be sure to provide your email address on the registration form)

4-Hour State-Approved Recertification Classes: 

  • 12:45 p.m. - check in
  • 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. - instruction and recertification

 What to Bring to the Class

  • All classes: Arrive 15 minutes prior to the class or test to sign in.
  • All classes: Bring a photo ID such as a driver's license, State ID, tribal ID, student ID or passport.
  • For 8-hour ServSafe® classes and ServSafe® tests: Bring a #2 pencil and eraser PLUS the ServSafe® textbook. Be sure the Examination Answer Sheet is in the textbook. (Note - there is no workbook for the state-approved recertification class).

Online ServSafe® Course & Proctored Test - National Certification & Recertification

When you choose online training, the test you take following the training must be proctored by a certified ServSafe® proctor.

How it works:

1. When you register for the online training, you will sign up to take a proctored test. You'll have two options for the test: you can take it at a regularly scheduled ServSafe® class -OR- you may schedule a proctored test. For a list of ServSafe® proctors, contact the South Dakota Retailers Association at 1-800-658-5545.

2. Once you complete the online course, you need to print the Certificate of Completion.

3. Within 90 days after starting the online course, you will take the proctored test. Bring the Certificate of Completion that you printed PLUS a photo ID.

For more details on the online course, email


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I have to become certified?
A: The Food Service Code adopted by the State of South Dakota is designed to make sure that businesses which serve food to the public use safe and sanitary food handling, serving, and storage procedures. As part of that code, the state requires foodservice businesses to have at least one person on staff who has participated in an 8-hour training program, and has passed a certification exam. 

Q: I am opening a new restaurant.  How long do I have to get a person on my staff certified?
A: You must have a certified person on staff prior to opening.

Q: If a business has just one ServSafe certified person on staff, and that person leaves, how long does the business have to get another person certified?
A: The state health code says when a certified food service manager leaves an establishment, the establishment has a 90-day grace period to obtain another certified food service manager.

Q: If I purchase an existing restaurant, how long do I have to get a person certified?
A: Upon a change of ownership, a food service establishment has 90 days to have a person certified.

Q: Will I receive documentation to show I have passed the ServSafe® program?
A: Yes. If you receive a score of at least 75%, you will be notified of passage and receive your certificate by mail. 

Q: How will I know if I passed the ServSafe® test?
A: EMAIL: Your test results will be emailed to you by the National Restaurant Association about 7 to 10 days after you take the test.

MAIL: The South Dakota Retailers Association will send you a letter with your rest score.

ONLINE: You may also check online for results. Within 7 to 10 days after you take the test, your scores will be available to you online at You must have the Class Number to check your score online. (The instructor will give you the Class Number the day of the class).   

Q: Once I pass the certification test, do I have to become recertified in the future?
A: Yes. The South Dakota Food Service Code requires recertification every five years.  The certification is valid for five years from the date of the exam. The expiration date appears on your certificate.

Q: Why are there two ways to be recertified?
A: One recertification is recognized on a national basis; the other is strictly a South Dakota program.

Some people who have received their national ServSafe® certification want to keep that national certification when their original certificate is expiring. They can participate in the ServSafe® training and exam. Health care facilities are required to maintain their national certification, and must take the 8-hour class for recertification.

Other people don't care if they maintain national certification - they just want to meet the state of South Dakota's requirements. For those people, the state has approved a 4-hour recertification program which does not involve a pass/fail exam. It is instruction only, and attendees receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion.

Q: If I have been ServSafe® certified in another state, is that certification valid in South Dakota?
A: If your certificate has not expired, your ServSafe® certification from another state is valid in South Dakota. 

Q: The fees are lower for Retailers Association members. How do I become a member?
A: For information on membership in the South Dakota Retailers Association, call our office at 1-800-658-5545.

For more information, call SDRA at 1-800-658-5545, or contact us via email.

Copyright © 2016 South Dakota Retailers Association, all rights reserved.
Phone: (605) 224-5050 / Toll-free 1-800-658-5545