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Texas Food Handlers—Train by September 1, 2016

iStock_80366357_Texas_Resources-01All hourly food handlers in Texas will need to obtain food safety training before September 1, 2016. The Texas Food Establishment Rule (TFER) 228 mandates that “all food employees, except for the certified food manager, shall successfully complete an accredited food handler training course, within 60 days of employment.” This rule will officially be enforced September 1 of this year.

Along with this rule change, there was a law change with Texas Senate Bill SB-582 that made it so all health departments in the state of Texas must recognize any ANSI-accredited food handler training.

What does this change mean?
Essentially, in counties and cities where food handler training was already required, a food handler certificate from any ANSI (American National Standards Institute) accredited food handler course is now accepted. In areas where there were previously no training requirements, all food service workers have until September 1, 2016 to complete their training. All training must be ANSI accredited or approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).

When the commission responsible for the drafting of the rule was asked the purpose of making this training mandatory throughout the state, the commission responded by saying, “The purpose of these rules is to update public health regulations so that food businesses can continue to provide food that is safe, unadulterated, and honestly presented.”

In addition to changes to the food handler training requirements, the new rule is bringing the state of Texas up to date with nationally established food safety practices, using the most recent FDA food code as the basis of the new TFER.

What should you do now?
We understand that with these new regulations, businesses and local health departments now have an enormous responsibility added to their plate, but we are here to help. Luckily for you, we have all of the training resources you will need to prepare for September:

Food Handler Training (ANSI accredited and TDSHS approved)
Food Manager Certification Training and Exam (TDSHS approved)
TABC Alcohol Server Training
Group Training Option
Free Additional Training Resources

To learn more about each of these resources, we have mapped them out for you on this Texas Resources web page.

Need more information?
Read a full account of 
TFER 25 TAC 228 here (see 228.33 (d), (e) on page 28 for further explanation on the changes made to training requirements as discussed in this article). To learn more about the law regarding ANSI accreditation, see Texas Senate Bill SB-582, here. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact your local health department or’s support team at or 801-494-1416.

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