Texas Food Handler Mandate

In October 2015, the Texas Department of State Health Services approved a regulation requiring statewide food handler certification as part of the new Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER). All employees that work with un-packaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces such as kitchen staff, bussers, hostesses, servers, bartenders, bar-backs etc., will need to be food handler certified.

The statewide food handler mandate was effective September 1, 2016 which means all current restaurant employees required to be certified must have their food handler permit by that date. New employees must have their certification within 60 days of hire.

Texas food handler certification is valid for two years, and food facility operators are required to maintain record of a current certification for each employee. Local health departments will enforce the mandate during the inspection process.

Food Handler Certification Courses

As long as the food handler course is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and/or the Texas Department of State Health Services the certificate is valid anywhere in the state of Texas. Courses that are also accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), like ServSafe Food Handler Texas, are not subject to any additional fees required by local jurisdictions.

ServSafe® Food Handler Texas is a highly interactive online training course and 40-question test that covers critical food safety information and techniques. Approximately 60 to 90 minutes in length, the training delivers consistent food safety training for all food service employees.

The ServSafe Food Handler Texas training covers key topic areas:

  • basic food safety
  • personal hygiene
  • cross-contamination and allergens
  • time and temperature
  • cleaning and sanitation.

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ServSafe Food Handler Texas (online course)

Employer FAQs

Employee FAQs