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Licensing of Food Handler Training Programs

Senate Bill (SB) 1089 of the 85th legislature (2017) amends Health and Safety Code Chapter 438 to establish that a food service worker trained in a food handler training course accredited by the American National Standards Institute or Department of State Health Services is considered to have met a local health jurisdiction's training, testing, and permitting requirements and has reciprocity throughout the State of Texas. It goes on to say that a local health jurisdiction may not charge a fee or require or issue a local food handler card for a certificate issued to a food service worker who provides proof of completion of an accredited course.

SB 1089 also states that a food service worker trained in a course for the employees of a single entity is considered to have met a local health jurisdiction’s training, testing, and permitting requirements only as to food service performed for that entity. This course does not have reciprocity throughout Texas and is only accepted for that entity. The Department of State Health Services Public Sanitation and Retail Food Safety Group will continue to require all food handler certifications from an accredited program for those entities located in DSHS jurisdiction.

The Bill was signed in by the Governor and took effect June 12, 2017. Education of the food handlers provides more qualified employees, thereby reducing the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks caused by improper food preparation and handling techniques.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Food Handler Program is dedicated to the health and safety of the citizens of the state, educating food service employees in the principles of food safety to produce safe food products for Texas consumers.

The Texas Department of State Health Services provides the framework for accrediting food safety education and training programs for food handlers. A uniform standard governing the accreditation of food handler programs  supports  the recognition of reciprocity among regulatory agencies and reduces the expense of duplicate education incurred when food handlers work in multiple regulatory jurisdictions.

Please email the Certified Food Manager Program if you would like additional information, or telephone (512) 834-6727.

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Contact Information

For General Program Inquiries

Email: Certified Food Manager Program
Phone: (512) 834-6727
Fax: (512) 834-6683

Mailing addresses may be found on the contact page.

Last updated July 22, 2022