The Food Handler class will be held on the 4th floor located in Environmental Health at the Portsmouth Health Department on the 1st Wednesday of each month.  We hold classes at 10AM and 2PM.

Please arrive up to 30 minutes early (due to COVID restrictions we only allow a maximum of 10 students per class).

Fee: $15.00 (cash/check/money order/ credit card– no Discover or American Express) Checks payable to: Portsmouth Health Department.

Class is taught by  Environmental Health  Specialists, and  will  last approximately  1 1/2 hours. 

The Food Handler’s card is valid for two years. For more information, call (757) 393-8585, extension 8585

2024 Class Schedule

    • January 3rd
    • February 7th
    • March 6th
    • April 3rd
    • May 1st
    • June 5th
    • July 3rd
    • August 7th
    • September 4th
    • October 2nd
    • November 6th
    • December 4th

We also have provided food handler classes online through “State Food Safety” at  Purchase online course for $15.  Complete course and test in less than 90 minutes.  This includes the ability to print your food handler card after completion of the course. Class is offered in full audio and visual in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, and American Sign.State Food Safety graphic and webpage link.


The CPFM certificate is valid for 5 years and takes the place of a Food Handler’s card which is required by Portsmouth.  The CPFM certificate is recognized throughout the United States.


  • February 20th and 22nd
  • March 19th and 21st
  • April 16th and 18th
  • May 21st and 23rd        
  • Jun 18th and 20th
  • Jul 16th and 18th
  • Aug 20th and 22nd
  • Sept 17th and 19th
  • Oct 15th and 17th
  • Nov 19th and 21st

TIME OF CLASS: 8:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M.

LOCATION: Portsmouth Health Dept, 1701 HIGH ST. 4th FLOOR – Training Room

PAYMENT FOR CLASS: Fee: $175.00 (cash/check/money order/ credit card– no Discover or American Express ) Checks payable to: Portsmouth Health Department.  Payment for class must be made 1 week in advance so that student can receive all materials for studying.State Food Safety graphic and webpage link.


This course is self-study, it allows you to review the test material at your own pace prior to taking the exam.

Fee options:

  • $50 – 1 hour timed closed book exam and operator card (study textbook may be printed or downloaded from this site).
  • $15 – retest.

Please allow 3 (three) business days for grading. A passing score of 80 is required.

Please note: This program is only offered to Portsmouth residents and/or pool companies servicing pools in the City of Portsmouth.

The Pool Operator’s Certificate is valid for 2 years. Also, if you are working outside of the City of Portsmouth, please ensure this certificate meets your local requirements.

Textbook: Pool Operation and Maintenance Guide (Requires Adobe Acrobat)

Child Safety Seat Installation Class

This program provides a free child safety seat to eligible families who cannot afford them. To qualify for a free child safety seat, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Eligible to receive Medicaid, SNAP benefits ,TANF, WIC, FAMIS, or School Lunch
  • Be the parent, legal guardian, or foster parent of a child requiring a seat
  • Be in the last trimester of pregnancy
  • Be available to attend a safety seat installation and use class

For more information contact:

Latrece Cowell at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8513 or
Dwight Richards at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8570 or

Safe Sleep Pack ‘n’ Play Class

The Safe Sleep Pack ‘n’ Play Program provides a free pack ‘n’ play travel crib along with education on best practices for infant safe sleep.

To qualify for a free pack ‘n’ play travel crib applicants must be

  • Eligible to receive Medicaid, FAMIS, SNAP benefits, TANF, or WIC.
  • Be in the last trimester of pregnancy.
  • Be the parent, legal guardian, or foster parent of the infant.
  • Infant under 6 months of age.
  • Attend an infant safe sleep pack ‘n’ play class.

For more information contact:
Latrece Cowell at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8513 or
Joanna Liston at 757-393-8585 Ext. 8751 or


 Pregnant and nursing mothers are invited to attend free Breastfeeding Classes held at the Portsmouth WIC Office, 1st Floor.

  • Breastfeeding Hot Topics support group 1st Thursday of every month at 1:15 and 5:00 p.m.
  • Breastfeeding Class 2nd, 3rd and 5th Thursdays at 1:15 and 5:00 PM
  • Breastfeeding Baby Shower 4th Thursday of each month at 10:00 a.m. ~ with refreshments, games & prizes ~

For more information, please call a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at 409-4671.

Don’t forget to bring your WIC folder to receive WIC checks at class.

Due to the coronavirus… The WIC program is open from 7:45am-5:45pm on (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) and 1:00pm – 6:45pm on Thursday at the 1701 High St., Ste. 102, Portsmouth, VA 23704, BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Clients with appointments scheduled at the Churchland service location will be contacted to reschedule appointments. For more information, call 757-393-5340.