When you’re a paying customer at a food service establishment, you always want to know that the food is safe. While that is never guaranteed, there’s one thing that can undoubtedly offer much-needed peace of mind – and that’s a food handlers card. However, some people are unsure of the rules as they can vary from state to state, and the question the asked quite often is “does Texas require a food handlers card?”
Whether you’re a curious customer or someone about to enter the food industry, it’s worth knowing as much as possible about this certification process in Texas.
What is a Food Handlers Card?
People who have never worked in the hospitality industry often wonder “what is a food handlers card?” A food handlers card goes by many names – a food handlers license, a food handlers certificate, or a food handlers permit. Even though they go by many different names, they are all the same thing – proof that you have been educated on handling, preparing, and serving food safely.
Typically, the certification process is managed online and incorporates food safety, personal hygiene, allergens, food temperatures, and sanitation.
Who Needs a Food Handlers Card in Texas?
If you’ve never been on the employment side of the food industry, the idea that you have to get a food handlers card can seem confusing. You may not have even heard of one before! In recent years, it has been a requirement for anyone working with food to get one.
In fact, The Texas Department of State Health Services (TXDSHS) outlines that, under the Texas Food Establishment Rules, ‘all food employees shall successfully complete an accredited food handler training course within 60 days of employment.’
So, if you work with unpackaged food, food contact surfaces, food equipment, or food utensils, you are required by law to have a food handlers card.
Food Handlers Card in Texas and the Law
Speaking of being required by law, what does the law say? When did a food handlers card become law, and why did it become law?
As of September 1, 2016, a new law came in that required hostesses, bussers, kitchen staff, and servers, among others working with food, to get their food handler card in Texas. The goal was to make sure that dining establishments were able to provide safe food for their customers – including bars, cafes, restaurants, and similar.
When proper handling and food preparation practices are not followed, there can be devastating foodborne illness outbreaks. Even though the American food supply is among the world’s safest, that doesn’t mean foodborne illnesses are not commonplace.
Each year, there are around 48 million cases of such illnesses annually. That means that around one in six Americans are getting sick from the food they have eaten. About 128,000 people are also hospitalized annually, and at least 3,000 people die.
While not all foodborne illnesses can be prevented, being educated in safe food practices can undoubtedly lower the risk. When employees understand the importance of equipment sanitization, safe food temperatures, and similar, they can take all possible precautions before serving customers.
How Long is a Food Handlers Permit Valid For?
After spending around 90 minutes learning your course content and answering questions, you receive your food handlers certificate online almost immediately. From the date of issuing, your certificate is then valid for two years.
Once it has expired, you must then retake the food handlers card course to refresh your memory and receive another certificate for a further two years.
Why Get Your Certification Through a Certified Trainer
When you’re looking for work in the hospitality industry, a food handlers card in Texas is necessary. Prospective employers also look more favorably on people who have them rather than those that don’t.
However, when you start looking at food handlers card providers, you come to realize there are dozens of them. How do you know which ones are legitimate, and how do you choose the best one?
Once you’ve established they are certified by either the ANSI National Accreditation Board and/or Texas Health and Human Services; you can narrow down your options even further.
Some of the most reputable and high-quality food handler card course providers, like TABC Pronto, stand out leagues ahead of their competition.
For example, we offer one of the most affordable courses online. It’s just $6.99 to get your food handlers card from TABC Pronto. The course outline is also relevant to all food handling practices in Texas establishments.
What’s more, the user interface is straightforward to use. You can review the course content page by page at your own pace and there is no final exam. Gaining your food handlers card shouldn’t be an overwhelming exercise, and certified trainers like TABC Pronto make sure it’s not. Enroll in our online food handlers course today!