Texas DSHS Food Handler Information

texas food handler

Texas training and education of food handlers – mandated by the Texas Department of State Health Services, DSHS, Food Handler Program – provides more qualified employees, thereby reducing the risk of food-borne illness outbreaks caused by improper food preparation and handling techniques.

Texas requires food handler training for all individuals working in Texas food service establishments – (i.e., restaurants, cafes, bakeries, delis, mobile vendors, food trucks, bars, kiosks, convenience stores, and other food service employees).

As of September 1, 2016 and as part of the Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER), all food handler service individuals working in Texas facilities who are involved in preparing, storing, or handling food must now successfully complete an accredited food handler training course. Employees have have 60 days from date of hire to get their certificate.

Examples of Texas food service employees required to obtain a Food Handler Certificate include: chefs, cooks, mobile food vendors, bartenders, host/hostesses that handle food, caterers, supervisors and food managers.

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Texas Food Safety Training Regulations

On October 11, 2015 the new Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) went into effect. Some of the new significant changes in the TFER include:

  • A new statewide mandate that all food employees successfully complete a food handler training course within 60 days of employment. This food handler requirement began on Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Added requirements for the “original” certified food protection manager certificate being posted conspicuous to the customer’s location.
  • Added requirement for food handler certificates to be located on site.