Changes to Texas Food Establishment Rules

On October 11, 2015, the Texas Department of State Health Services enacted new rules. The Code Compliance – Environmental Health Division is currently using the new Texas Food Establishment Rules to evaluate compliance of food establishments in our jurisdiction. 

These changes are being made so Texas regulations will conform with the most current FDA food code (2013).

Brief Summary of Changes to TFER

§228.34 Duties - “Non-typhoidal Salmonella” joins the previous list of 5 illnesses that need to be reported to authorities and require exclusion of the diagnosed food worker from the food facility

§228.38. Hands and Arms - Washing hands is required before donning gloves, but not in between changing gloves if same task is being done.

§228.251 Report of Findings - Critical violations changed to priority and priority foundation violations, and non-critical violations are now called core violations. Possible debited violations increased from 27 items to 47 items on new inspection form.

§228.71 Cooking - Non-continuous cooking now only requires a re-heat, not to 165°F as previously required for all reheats, but only to the required cooking temperature for that particular food.

§228.33. Certified Food Protection Manager and Food Handler Requirements – (this applies to the County, as Food Handler Cards already required in the City) Added a new requirement that all food employees shall successfully complete a food handler training course, accredited by the department, within 60 days of employment.

§228.75 Temperature and time control - More requirements were added for “time is a public health control” for cold foods. Cold foods may now be held without temperature control for up to 6 hours or up to 70°F if removed from refrigeration at 41°F, documented and monitored.

§228.65 Preventing contamination by employees - Added the requirement that the permit holder must obtain prior approval from the regulatory authority before conducting bare hand contact activities with ready-to-eat foods

§228.221. Mobile Food Requirements - Toilet rooms shall be conveniently located and accessible to employees during all hours of operation. A mobile must provide a copy of the last central preparation facility inspection report, a servicing area authorization, and a menu.

§228.222. Temporary Food Establishments - Temporary establishments shall have at least one person on site that has an accredited food handler certification.