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A helpful guide to navigating the TFER has been provided by TX DSHS. It is called the Regulatory Quick Reference. This can be used to quickly reference the TFER and further details the 1-47 violations.
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Yes. Certified Food Manager certificates are approximately an eight hour training program with an exam following and are valid for five years. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/food-managers/certification.aspx
No. at this point the Texas Department of Health Services do not allow local jurisdictions from issuing food handler or food manager certificates. These must be obtained from a licensed provider. https://www.dshs.texas.gov/food-managers/certification.aspx
Currently there are no regulations barring the sale of whole local produce to Fixed Food Establishments. Owners and managers will use their discretion when deciding to obtain food product from any source.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has these guidelines on their website https://www.dshs.texas.gov/foodestablishments/cottagefood/default.aspx
Fixed food establishments must obtain a TFE permit when:
-Providing and serving food off site to the public. This does not include catered office luncheons, private parties, or weddings.
- When operating outside the normal bounds of the Fixed Food Establishment permit. e.g. a mixed drinks only bar hosting a food event on site for the weekend, or a Fixed Food Establishment preparing food/drinks outside a building and outside the bounds of the originally approved permit.
No. A mobile unit currently permitted with the City of San Marcos is not required to apply for an additional temporary permit when participating in special events.
TFER requires Mobile Food Units to report to their designated Central preparation facility daily. This requirement will not change if parked at a Food Truck park.
(b) Central preparation facility.(1) Supplies, cleaning, and servicing operations. Mobile Food Units shall operatefrom a central preparation facility or other fixed food establishment and shall report to such location daily for supplies and for cleaning and servicing operations.
Participants in a food judging contest will require a Temporary Food Establishment permit if any foods are prepared and served to persons, other than judges of the contest, regardless if a fee is charged.
If a judging contest participant meets the above criteria for requiring a food permit all foods must be prepared on site with no storage or preparation of foods at a residence.
If a participant only provides samples of food to judges during the contest no Temporary Food Establishment permit will be required.
The responsibility of the Food Handler at a Temporary Food Establishment is to oversee the operation to minimize the potential of a health hazard and verify permit requirements are being met. A Food Handler is not able to oversee the food preparation and service if not actively present in the booth.
No. Events associated with SMCISD events are still required to obtain a permit. If the association, club, booster, etc, are able to demonstrate a non-profit status or letter showing that they fall under the SMCISD governmental agency exemption, then the fee is waived. If not, the fee is $53.00.
HACCP stands for hazard analysis critical control point, this is a food safety system generally utilized by food manufacturers and harvest facilities. HACCP requires detailed plans and records to be written and kept by the establishment to insure that food safety is achieved before distribution to the public. Retail food establishments will be required to submit a HACCP plan to the COSM Environmental Health Department if they utilize the following specialized processes:
-Smoking food as a method of food preservation rather than as a method of flavor enhancement;
-Using food additives or adding components such as vinegar: to preserve/render non-time/temperature control for safety food;
-Packaging time/temperature control for safety food using Reduced Oxygen Packaging method except where the growth of Clostridium botulinum and Listeria Monocytogenes are controlled;
-Operating a molluscan shellfish life-support system display tank used to store and display shellfish that are offered for human consumption;
-Custom processing animals that are for personal use as food and not for sale or service in a food establishment;
-Preparing food by another method that is determined by the regulatory authority to require a variance; or
-Sprouting seeds (such as alfalfa or wheat grass) or beans in a retail food establishment.
You may contact the Code Compliance-Environmental Health Division for additional information regarding HACCP.
Staff is currently working on a variance application that customers may fill out and return for consideration. The application will detail how to submit a request of your intentions with justification of why the request should be given and how the rules and public safety will still be met. TFER currently states:
§228.243. Variances.(a) Modifications and waivers. The regulatory authority may grant a variance by modifying or waiving the requirements of these rules if in the opinion of the regulatory authority a health hazard or nuisance will not result from the variance. If a variance is granted, the regulatory authority shall retain the information specified in subsection (b) of this section in its records for the food establishment.(b) Documentation of proposed variance and justification. Before a variance from a requirement of these rules is approved, the information that shall be provided by the person requesting the variance and retained in the regulatory authority's file on the food establishment includes:(1) a statement of the proposed variance of the rule requirement citing relevant rule section numbers; (2) an analysis of the rationale for how the potential public health hazards and nuisances addressed by the relevant rule sections will be alternatively addressed by the proposal; and(3) a HACCP plan if required as specified in §228.244(c) of this title that includes the information specified in §228.244(b) of this title, as it is relevant to the variance requested. (c) Conformance with approved procedures. If the regulatory authority grants a variance as specified in subsection (a) of this section, or a HACCP plan is otherwise required as specified in §228.244(c) of this title, the food establishment shall:(1) comply with the HACCP plans and procedures that are submitted and approved as specified in §228.244(d) of this title as a basis for the modification or waiver; and(2) maintain and provide to the regulatory authority, upon request, records specified in §228.244(d)(4) and (5) of this title that demonstrate that the following are routinely employed:(A) procedures for monitoring critical control points; (B) monitoring of the critical control points; (C) verification of the effectiveness of an operation or process; and(D) necessary corrective actions if there is failure at a critical control point.