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Our Texas Food Handlers Certification course is approved under License #51 and your certificate will be recognized statewide by any local health department in Texas.
However, some counties and/or cities enforce specific guidelines. In some cases, you may be required to bring your certificate to the health department and/or pay a separate fee for the issuance of a local health jurisdiction food handler card. See list of additional fees.
The Texas Food Handlers Certification is an accreditation approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services and issued upon successful completion of a food safety course and final exam.
Who is a food handler?
A food handler is defined as any food service employee who works with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food contact surfaces.
Do I need the Texas Food Handlers Certification?
Food Handler training is not mandatory statewide. However, many cities and counties in Texas require food handlers to meet specific training and certification guidelines. To find out if the city or county where you work requires a Texas Food Handlers Certification, please contact your local health authority.
How Do I Get the Texas Food Handlers Certification?
Take an online course and receive a certificate of completion from a program approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services, such as Premier Food Safety. All local jurisdictions statewide will accept this training as valid. However, some may have additional certification criteria or charge a separate issuance fee for the food handlers card. Once you have successfully completed the training, please make sure to contact your local health authority.
Can I get my Texas Food Handlers Certification from any provider?
No. The only training programs recognized as valid statewide are those offered by any of the providers approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
If the establishment you work for is under the jurisdiction of a health authority that mandates this certification, you must obtain the food handlers certification from an approved training program, such as Premier Food Safety.
Is Premier Food Safety an Approved Training Provider?
Yes. Premier Food Safety is a food handler certification program accredited by the Texas Department of State Health Services (License #51) and is listed as such in the Texas DSHS website.
Why do I need to get my training from an accredited provider?
Although food handler training by an accredited program is not required statewide by the Texas Department of State Health Services, a uniform training standard was established under the rule for Food Handler Education or Training Program (25 TAC §229.178) to keep Texas food handlers working in multiple jurisdictions from incurring in duplicate training expenses.
Put simply, if a food handlers card is required by the county or city where you work and you receive this accreditation from a program approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services, the local health authority is required to accept it as meeting the jurisdiction’s training requirements. Your local health authority may, however, charge a separate fee to issue a local health jurisdiction card, in addition to the certificate issued by the training provider.
What information will be on my Texas Food Handlers Certificate?
All certificates issued by Texas DSHS-accredited programs must include the following:
How do I purchase training to get the Texas Food Handlers Certification?
You can purchase the online training through this registration page or by calling our toll-free number 800-676-3121.
How much does it cost?
The cost of the Texas Food Handlers Certification course is $8.95 per person, and it includes the training, the exam, and the Food Handler Training Certificate upon successfully passing the exam with a 80% or better. The entire process is done online, on a computer, and the certificate can be printed at home or from any computer that has a printer. Please note that some local health jurisdictions may require you to pay a separate issuance fee not included in the price of this training.
When do I need to get my Texas Food Handlers Certificate?
This will depend on the city or county where you work. Some jurisdictions allow a grace period from the date of hire, whereas others require you to have a food handlers certificate before you can start working. For local guidelines, please contact your local health authority.
I need to take the Texas Food Handlers Training but I do not have a computer, what can I do?
Unfortunately, at the moment we only offer the Food Handlers Certification Program online; therefore you need a computer in order to get the card.
Here are a few suggestions to complete your training:
How long is the training?
The online training takes approximately 90 minutes.
Is there an exam?
Yes. Once you have reviewed the entire course, you will need to pass a 25-question exam with a score of 80% or higher.
Do I have to complete the training all at once?
No, you may start training and review a few chapters, log out of your account and resume your training at a different time. All your progress will be saved.
When will I get my Texas Food Handlers Certificate?
You will be able to print your certificate as soon as you finish the training and pass the final exam with a score of at least 80%.
What if I don’t have a printer at home to print the Food Handlers Certificate?
If you don’t have access to a computer with a printer, you can still take the training online and, once you have passed the test, we can mail a printed copy of your Food Handler Training Certificate for an additional fee of $5.
How long is my certificate valid for?
Once issued, your certificate will be valid for 2 years in the state of Texas. However, your local jurisdiction may require you to renew it sooner in order to meet local ordinance requirements. Please make sure you contact them for further instructions after you have completed the course.
I work for multiple establishments. Do I need a Texas Food Handlers Certificate for each one of them?
Generally, no. Once you have obtained a training certificate from an approved food safety program, such as Premier Food Safety, and complied with any additional requirements the local health jurisdiction may have, the certificate will be valid to work for any food service establishment within that jurisdiction. However, if the food service facilities that you work for are located in different cities or counties, you need to contact each local health authority to make sure you meet the certification criteria for each jurisdiction.
Will my card and certificate be valid if I change jobs?
Your certificate will be valid statewide, even if you start working for a new food service facility. However, if the establishment is located in a city or county different to the one where you were previously employed, you need to contact the local ruling health authority to make sure you meet any additional criteria required by local ordinance in that jurisdiction.
Will I be required to have a local health jurisdiction certificate in addition to this one?
The Texas Food Handlers Certification issued by accredited programs, such as Premier Food Safety, is recognized statewide by regulatory authorities as valid proof of successful completion of a department-accredited food handler training program. However, some local health jurisdictions may require you to obtain a local food handler card and charge an additional issuance fee.
Am I required to bring my Food Handlers Certificate to the local Health Department?
Depending on the county and/or city where you work, you may be required to bring your certificate to the local health department. To find out about this and any additional certification guidelines, please make sure to contact your local health authority upon completion of this training.
I have a food handlers certification from another state. Is it valid in Texas?No. If you will be working in a food service establishment in Texas you need to get a certificate from a Texas-accredited program. When applicable, you also need to meet the additional certification criteria required by the ruling local health authority in that jurisdiction.
Where can I find out more about the current state law?
For detailed information regarding the Food Handler Education or Training Program, please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website or click on the following link: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/foodestablishments/handler.shtm
For specific certification requirements in local jurisdictions, please contact your local health authority.