Everything about the validity of your health certificate

The question of how long a health certificate is valid is of central importance for many employees in the food sector. A valid health certificate is not only a legal requirement, but also proof of your knowledge of the necessary hygiene standards. In this article you will find out everything you need to know about the period of validity of your health certificate and receive valuable tips on how you can ensure that your certificate always remains up to date.

How long is a health certificate valid?

The validity period of a health certificate can vary depending on the legal regulations of the respective country. In Germany, for example, according to Sections 42 and 43 of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG), the health certificate is issued after a one-time instruction by the health department or a licensed doctor. The health certificate is usually valid for life.

Important: The certificate is only valid for life, provided that work is started within 3 months of the certificate being issued and that follow-up instructions are provided by the employer at least every 2 years. If the employer cannot provide the follow-up instructions or if you as a company would like to carry out the follow-up instructions easily and digitally, you can do this here on our portal.

Health certificate validity - what needs to be taken into account?

  • Regular refresher training: Although the health certificate itself does not have a limited period of validity, the employer must provide employees with additional training every two years. This is to keep up to date with new hygiene regulations and to raise awareness about food safety.
  • Change of job: If you change employers in the food sector, it is advisable to repeat the instructions, even if your previous health certificate is still "valid". This ensures that all relevant hygiene regulations and practices of the new work environment are known.
  • Documentation: Keep a copy of your health certificate in a safe place and ensure you have documentation of your last instruction. This can serve as proof of your qualifications if necessary.
  • Stay informed: Stay up to date on legal changes and recommendations regarding hygiene training.

How long is a health card valid?

The health card, often used synonymously with the health certificate, is subject to the same regulations. It is important to understand that continued validity is tied to your continuous service at a food establishment. As soon as you interrupt your activity in this area, new instruction may become necessary.


The validity of a health certificate is an important aspect for anyone working in the food sector. There is no fixed expiry time, but the need for regular refresher and re-instruction when changing jobs should be noted. By adhering to the recommendations mentioned, you will ensure that you always have the necessary qualifications to be able to carry out your work in the food sector safely and responsibly.

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