Texas requires that a person-in-charge (PIC), owner, or employee of a food service establishment – (i.e., bars, restaurants, mobile vendors, food trucks, caterers, assisted-living, and day care centers) be a Certified Food Manager (CFM) as outlined in the Texas Food Code by successfully passing an ANSI-accredited and Texas Department of State Health Service approved – food safety certification exam.
Texas Food Code
- (a) Responsibility, assignment. The permit holder shall be the person in charge or shall designate a person in charge and shall ensure that a person in charge is present at the food establishment during all hours of operation.
As per Texas Administrative Code – Title 25: Health Services – Chapter 229: Food and Drug – Subchapter K: Texas Food Establishments – Rule § 229.177b: Certification of Food Managers:
- (b) Food manager certification required. One certified food manager must be employed by each food establishment permitted under HSC, §437.0055. Certification must be obtained by passing a department approved examination at an approved examination site, and meeting all requirements in HSC, Chapter 438, Subchapter G, and §229.176 of this title (relating to Certification of Food Managers).
- Learn about foodborne pathogens, cross contamination, cold and hot food safety, and best practices to prevent foodborne illness.
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Examples of Texas food service employees required to obtain a Food Manager Certification include: chefs, cooks, mobile food vendors, caterers, supervisors and food managers.
Texas Food Establishments requiring training and certification:
Types of food establishments that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) regulates includes:
- Delis (including those within grocery stores)
- Cafés (including those within retail stores)
- Food trucks, food carts and trailers
- Concession stands
- Cafeterias (that are open to the public)
- Convenience stores that serve food
- Mobile food vendors
- Temporary food booths and kiosks at events and festivals
- Various other businesses and organizations that engage in food preparation
and food service
Texas Food Safety Laws, Regulations, and Guidelines
Texas Food Safety Code for Food Handlers and Certified Food Managers:
- Texas Food Establishments Rules (TFER) – Chapter 228
- 2015 Summary of Changes to Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) – Chapter 228
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) – Texas Statutes and Laws – Retail Food Establishments
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) – Regulatory Clarifications, Guidance Documents and General Publications – Retail Food Establishments
- Texas Department of State Health Services (DHSH) – Permitting Information – Retail Food Establishments
- Texas Administrative Code – Title 25: Health Services – Chapter 229: Food and Drug – Subchapter K: Texas Food Establishments – Rule Section 229.176: Certification of Food Managers
- Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 437 – Regulation Of Food Service Establishments, Retail Food Stores, Mobile Food Units, And Roadside Food Vendors
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.