The Person in Charge (PIC) or CFPM may be the manager, owner, operator, or person otherwise in direct supervision of the food employees and the food processing.

The NC FOOD CODE (2017) requires that each establishment assign the duties of the PIC or CFPM regardless of the food service type*.  The PIC must demonstrate food safety knowledge with one of the following conditions:

• No violation of PRIORITY items during the current inspection, 

• Being a certified food protection manager, or

• Correctly respond to questions asked by the inspector.

To see a list of the PIC/ CFPM Duties, click here. 

*Drink stands are not required to have certified persons.

This means that a priority violation where one of the duties has failed can lead to the debit of 2-points regardless of certification.  It also means that if no CFPM, an assigned PIC in control of the establishment during the inspection with no priority violations may not be liable for the 2-point debit.  

The NC FOOD CODE encourages the people who make important decisions in the food establishment to have a good foundation for training other employees; rejecting products that are not received properly; handling customer complaints; monitoring specialized processes; and understanding employee health policy.

A PIC is required at all times of operation, including set-up/ prep and clean-up at the end of the business day.

Need to know more about the certification

  • The certification must be provided by an ANSI-accredited testing source and proctored in-person.
  • The certification must have an expiration date, and the certification must be in date to apply.
  • There is not a requirement for a course, only certification.
  • There are many companies that provide food safety courses and certification exams.
  • Certificates issued by other states are honored,  but re-certification at five years is strongly encouraged.
  • The Food Handler certificates of some curricula do NOT apply for PIC requirements.  They are, however, very good ways to train front-line employees.

Certification sources

There may be local agency providers and private contractors in the area who advertise their courses and exams on the following websites.

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