Do you have questions? We have answers! With help from the Texas Department of State Health Services, we found out what it is you want to know most regarding food handler requirements. We’ve done the translating to Layman’s terms and we think you’ll want to see this. Here are a few things you should know about food handler training in Texas and how it applies to you.
- Who is considered a food handler in Texas?
A food handler is a person who handles, prepares, serves, sells, or gives away food for human consumption. Don’t let the position title confuse you—a food handler could also be someone who buses tables or washes dishes. Sometimes food handlers are referred to as food employees or food workers. It is the responsibility of a food handler to ensure that food is kept safe from the hazards it can encounter at every level of its preparation.
- What is food handler training?
Simply put, food handler training is instruction for anyone who would like to become a food handler. The Texas Department of State Health Services (TXDSHS) requires that all food employees complete an accredited training in order to provide safe food service. Those who currently work in food service should also complete this training. Food handler training covers the main Do’s and Don’ts of food service; a typical course includes, but is not limited to, topics such as foodborne illness, personal hygiene guidelines, and food contamination prevention. When you complete the StateFoodSafety.com State of Texas Food Handler Card Online Training, you receive a Food Handler Card, which you may then print. This card shows that you have successfully completed your food handler training and are now permitted to be a food handler in the state of Texas.
- Who needs to complete Texas food handler training?
As of October 2015, food handler training became more than just a suggestion—it is a requirement for all food employees. According to Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) §228.33, “…all food employees shall successfully complete an accredited food handler training course, within 60 days of employment.” Basically, if you work with food, food equipment, or food-contact surfaces in the state of Texas, you need to complete an accredited food handler training course.
- Who is exempt from Texas food handler training?
According to the TXDSHS, certain groups are exempt from the food handler training requirement including Certified Food Managers and food establishments that only serve pre-packaged items.Additionally, the following groups are exempt from training as long as they are supervised by someone who has had food handler training or is a Certified Food Manager:
-Intellectually Challenged Individuals
-Persons in a rehabilitation facility that work with food related items as part of their rehabilitation
-Persons who aid in activities of daily living (such as but not limited to certified nurse assistants)
-Volunteers who work with food related items but are not employed by the food establishment
- What is an accredited food handler training course?
An accredited food handler training course is one that has been authorized or approved by TXDSHS or by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). StateFoodSafety.com is an approved provider for food handler training in Texas, accredited by both the Texas Department of State Health Services (TXDSHS) and by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In other words, you can trust us to provide you with the high-quality training you need!
- What will I receive to indicate that I’ve completed training through an accredited program?
Everybody loves a little recognition and that’s what you’ll get. As a result of completing your accredited course, you will receive a Food Handler Card. Each card will show your name, the food handler program, and either a TXDSHS Accreditation License Number or an ANSI logo. This completion card is recognized statewide by regulatory authorities as proof that you have completed the necessary training. The Food Handler Card that you receive and print at the end of the StateFoodSafety.com Food Handler Training will allow you to start work immediately!
- Where is my Texas Food Handler Card valid?
When you take an accredited food handler training course, your Food Handler Card is accepted everywhere in the state of Texas. Remember, accreditation is either through the Texas Department of State Health Services (TXDSHS) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Either accreditation has validity throughout Texas. Even if your card was issued outside of the state of Texas, as long as you received ANSI accredited training, you only need one card.
- When do I need to have a Texas Food Handler Card?
Under Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) §228.33, food handler training must be complete within 60 days of starting work. Technically, all food employees currently working in the food service industry without a Food Handler Card are given a grace period until September 1, 2016 to complete a food handler training course.
- Why is food handler training required in Texas?
If you really want to know, we really want to tell you. Every step towards educating food handlers is a step away from preventable foodborne illness outbreaks. After completing food handler training, food employees are more qualified in their food preparation and handling. The Texas commission involved with the decision to make training mandatory stated, “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.” Food handler training is a requirement because food safety is a requirement… and we support any effort to preserve food safety!
- Are courses available in any other language besides English?
If you know where to look, you will find the right course. You might be pleased to know that English is just one of the 8 languages available for the StateFoodSafety.com Food Handler Training! Other language options include Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Serbo-Croatian, and American Sign Language.
There you have it—the top questions and answers regarding food handler training in Texas. Hopefully you have a better understanding of what is expected of you and what you can expect from an accredited training course. Purchase the StateFoodSafety.com State of Texas Food Handler Card Online Training by clicking “Begin Training”.