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The Texas Department of State Health Services ("TXDSHS"), under Texas Food Establishment Rules ("TFER") §228.33, requires that all food employees, except for the certified food manager, shall successfully complete an accredited food handler training course, within 60 days of employment.
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Under TFER §228.2(56) food employee is an individual working with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces.
The following are exempt from food handler training requirement:
An accredited food handler education or training program may be taken at any program listed on the Food Establishments Group website at: Texas Health and Human Service
A food handler education or training program approved by TXDSHS or by the American National Standards Institute ("ANSI")
Yes, accredited training providers may offer training on the internet. All internet training providers, along with traditional classroom training providers, Texas Health and Human Services .
A food handler card or certificate issued by an accredited program will vary in size and color. However, all food handler cards or certificates issued are required to have the food handler program name, address and either a TXDSHS Accreditation License Number or ANSI listed on the card or certificate
Food Handler Cards or certificates issued by an accredited program shall be recognized statewide by regulatory authorities as the valid proof of successful completion of an accredited food handler education or training program under Texas Health and Safety Code §438.046. Food Handler Cards or certificates issued outside the state of Texas receive reciprocity if the education or training program is an ANSI accredited.
All accredited food handler programs are required to meet the training requirements for bare hand contact of ready-to-eat foods as defined in TFER §228.38(c).
All food handlers who contact ready-to-eat food must receive training in the risks associated with this procedure including proper handwashing as specified under TFER §228.38(b), and when to wash their hands as specified under TFER §228.38(d). The specific requirements are addressed in the Texas Food Establishment Rules, §228.65, "Preventing contamination by employees."
Food handler card or certificate is valid up to the expiration date listed on the card or certificate. If the card or certificate does not bare an expiration date, then the card or certificate is valid for two (2) years from date of issuance. For more information, please see Texas Health and Human Service.
The food establishment shall maintain on premises a certificate of completion of the food handler training course for each food employee under TFER §228.33 relating to Certified Food Protection Manager and Food Handler Requirements. The format of this documentation can be hard copy or electronic, but must be onsite, accessible and available upon request by a regulatory authority.
Candidates who have taken an accredited Food Handler Training or Education Program must contact the training provider for instructions on how to obtain a replacement food handler card.