A recent New Mexico bill issued by the Environmental Improvement Board requires food handlers to have certificates from an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited issuer under the ANSI Certificate Accreditation Program (ANSI-CAP). The regulation is intended to protect public health by establishing standards and provisions for the safe operation of food establishments to assure that consumers are not exposed to adverse environmental health conditions.
New Mexico's legislation, effective in March 2016, requires that food handler certificate programs are accredited under the American National Standard ASTM E2659, Standard Practice for Certificate Programs. ANSI accredits organizations that assure learning outcomes are met for food handler training courses, evidenced by certificates. Although it does not issue certificates, ANSI accredits other organizations to do so. New Mexico joins several other states, including California, Illinois, Arizona, and Texas (and local jurisdictions) that require that food handlers have a certificate from an ANSI-accredited organization.
Launched in 2009, ANSI-CAP is the first program of its kind to offer a formal, third-party process for review and recognition of quality certificate programs, providing independent attestation that said program meets ASTM E2659-09. There are currently 15 certificate issuers with food handler certificate programs that meet requirements of ANSI-CAP, listed in the accreditation directory on the ANSI website.
"Ensuring that consumers can trust the quality and safety of the food they buy and eat is of paramount importance," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "ANSI accreditation assures the consistency and integrity of credentials of all sorts, including those associated with the food safety handling training required by the state of New Mexico."ANSI-CAP accreditation follows the process outlined in the international standard ISO/IEC 17011, General Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity Assessment Bodies. This process includes using specially trained assessors to review documents submitted by applicants against defined requirements, conduct on-site assessments, and make recommendations to the ANSI-CAP Accreditation Committee that is responsible for making the accreditation decisions.
More information about ANSI-CAP is available on the program's official website.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is made up of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.
The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
About ANSI Accreditation
ANSI Accreditation provides assurance that standards, goods, and services meet essential requirements throughout the global supply chain - engendering consumer trust and fostering competitiveness. Increasingly, procurement authorities, government agencies, and program/scheme owners are specifying accreditation in order to demonstrate the technical competence and impartiality of conformance services and processes. These assessments enhance confidence between buyers and sellers as they mitigate risk. For more information, visit www.ansiaccreditation.org.