|(a) Purpose. This section is intended to provide the
framework for accrediting food safety education or training programs
for food handlers in accordance with the Health and Safety Code (HSC),
Chapter 438, Subchapter D, §438.0431. A uniform standard governing
the accreditation of food handler programs enhances the recognition
of reciprocity among regulatory agencies and reduces the expense of
duplicate education incurred when food handlers work in multiple regulatory
jurisdictions. 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.
(b) Definitions. The following words and terms when
used in this section shall have the following meanings unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Accredited food handler program--A program approved
by the department that meets the standards set forth in this section.
(2) Department--Department of State Health Services.
(3) Food--A raw, cooked, or processed edible substance,
ice, beverage or ingredient used or intended for use or for sale in
whole or in part for human consumption, or chewing gum.
(4) Food establishment--
(A) Food establishment means an operation that stores,
prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for
(i) such as a restaurant; retail food store; satellite
or catered feeding location; catering operation if the operation provides
food directly to a consumer or to a conveyance used to transport people;
market; vending location; conveyance used to transport people; institution;
or food bank; and
(ii) that relinquishes possession of food to a consumer
directly, or indirectly through a delivery service such as home delivery
of grocery orders or restaurant takeout orders, or delivery service
that is provided by common carriers.
(B) Food establishment includes:
(i) an element of the operation such as a transportation
vehicle or a central preparation facility that supplies a vending
location or satellite feeding location unless the vending or feeding
location is permitted by the regulatory authority; and
(ii) an operation that is conducted in a mobile, stationary,
temporary, or permanent facility or location; where consumption is
on or off the premises; and regardless of whether there is a charge
for the food.
(C) Food establishment does not include:
(i) an establishment that offers only prepackaged foods
that are not potentially hazardous;
(ii) a produce stand that only offers whole, uncut
fresh fruits and vegetables;
(iii) a food processing plant;
(iv) a kitchen in a private home if only food that
is not potentially hazardous is prepared for sale or service at a
function such as a religious or charitable organization's bake sale
if allowed by law;
(v) an area where food that is prepared as specified
in clause (iv) of this subparagraph is sold or offered for human consumption;
(vi) a Bed and Breakfast Limited facility as defined
in these rules; or
(vii) a private home that receives catered or home-delivered
(5) Food handler--A food service employee who works
with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food contact
(6) Law--Applicable local, state and federal statutes,
regulations and ordinances.
(7) Licensee--The individual, corporation or company
that is licensed by the department to operate certified food handler
(8) Person--An association, corporation, individual,
partnership or other legal entity, government or governmental subdivision
(9) Reciprocity--Acceptance by state and local regulatory
authorities of a food handler certificate issued by a department accredited
food handler program.
(10) Regulatory authority--The local, state, or federal
enforcement body or authorized representative having jurisdiction
over the food establishment.
(11) Sponsor--An individual designated in writing to
the department, by the licensee, as the person responsible for administrative
management of the program.
(c) Food handler education and training program. The
department may accredit an education or training program for basic
food safety. The program shall include employee knowledge, responsibilities
and training as required in the Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER).
(1) Education or training course curriculum. A food
handler training or education course shall include the following basic
food safety principles.
(A) Foodborne disease outbreak. Instruction on foodborne
disease outbreak shall include the definition of foodborne disease
outbreak, the causes and preventive measures, including employee reporting
requirements as defined in Chapter 228, Subchapter B of this title
(relating to Management and Personnel).
(B) Good hygienic practices. Instruction on good hygienic
practices shall include the procedures as required in Chapter 228,
Subchapter B of this title.
(C) Preventing contamination by employees. Instruction
shall include the training as required in Chapter 228, Subchapter
C of this title (relating to Food), regarding the training requirements
for contact with ready to eat food with their bare hands.
(D) Cross Contamination. Instruction on cross contamination
shall include procedures on the prevention of cross-contamination
of foods, sanitization methods and corrective actions as required
in Chapter 228, Subchapter C of this title and Chapter 228, Subchapter
D of this title (relating to Equipment, Utensils, and Linens).
(E) Time and temperature. Instruction shall include
time and temperature control of foods to limit pathogen growth or
toxin production as required in Chapter 228, Subchapter C of this
(2) Course length. The course length may not exceed
(3) Course examination. A training or education program
may require a participant to achieve a passing score on an examination
to successfully complete the course.
(4) Internet programs. A program accredited under this
section may be delivered through the Internet.
(d) Food handler certificate.
(1) Certificate period. A food handler certificate
issued by an accredited food handler program shall be valid for two
(2) Certificate reciprocity. Department accredited
food handler program issued certificates shall be recognized statewide
by regulatory authorities as the valid proof of successful completion
of a department accredited food handler program.
(e) Licensing of an accredited food handler program
licensee. The department shall issue a license of accreditation to
each certified food handler program licensee who has demonstrated
compliance with this section. A license issued under these rules will
expire two years from the date of issuance. This license is not transferable
on change of ownership, or site location.
(f) Responsibilities of a licensee.
(1) Compliance with certified food handler program
law and rules. The licensee is responsible for compliance with applicable
certified food handler program law and rules.
(2) Payment of fees. All fees shall be non-refundable
and paid as specified in subsection (g) of this section.
(g) Required fees. All fees are payable to the department
and are non-refundable. Fees must be submitted with the appropriate
completed application that relates to the fee category. A current
license shall only be issued when all past due fees and late fees
are paid for all years of operation in Texas.
(1) Accredited food handler program license fee for
initial, renewal, or change of ownership. A program fee shall be $600
for a two-year license for each food handler program.
(2) Accredited food handler program amended license
fee. Program amendment fees shall be $300.
(3) Late fee. Accredited food handler program licensees
submitting a completed renewal application to the department after
the expiration date shall pay an additional $100 as a late fee.
(4) Texas Online Authority fee. For all applications
and renewal applications, the department is authorized to collect
subscription and convenience fees, in amounts determined by the Texas
Online Authority, to recover costs associated with application and
renewal application processing through Texas Online.
(h) Certified food handler program registry. The department
shall maintain a program registry of all accredited food handler programs.
The registry shall be made available on the department website.
(i) Department audits. Classroom audits may be conducted
to assess program compliance. Licensee shall allow personnel authorized
by the department access for the purposes of an audit. Audits may
be based on analysis of data compiled by the department.
(j) Denial, suspension and revocation of program accreditation.
An accredited food handler program license may be denied, suspended
or revoked for the following reasons:
(1) a licensee is delinquent in payment of fees as
described in this section; or
(2) violation of the provisions of this section.
(k) Denial, suspension and revocation procedures. Denial,
suspension and revocation procedures under this section shall be conducted
in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, Government Code,
(l) Suspension of License Relating to Child Support
and Child Custody.
(1) On receipt of a final court order or attorney general's
order suspending a license due to failure to pay child support or
for failure to comply with the terms of a court order providing for
the possession of or access to a child, the department shall immediately
determine if a license has been issued to the obligator named, and:
(A) record the suspension of the license in the department's
(B) report the suspension as appropriate; and
(C) demand surrender of the suspended license.
(2) The department shall implement the terms of a final
court or attorney general's order suspending a license without additional
review or hearing. The board will provide notice as appropriate to
the licensee or to others concerned with the license.
(3) The department may not modify, remand, reverse,
vacate, or stay a court or attorney general's order suspending a license
issued under the Family Code, Chapter 232, and may not review, vacate,
or reconsider the terms of an order.
(4) A licensee who is the subject of a final court
or attorney general's order suspending his or her license is not entitled
to a refund for any fee paid to the department.
(5) If a suspension overlaps a license renewal period,
an individual with a license suspended under this section shall comply
with the normal renewal procedures in the Act, and this chapter; however,
the license will not be renewed until subsection (g) of this section