The CDC estimates that each year about 1 in 6 people in the US suffers from a foodborne illness, 128,000 people are hospitalized and 3,000 people die from foodborne diseases. The best way to prevent the spread of foodborne pathogens that cause illness in a Food Establishment is to ensure that the employees are properly trained. The first step is for each employee to complete an approved course in Basic Food Safety to obtain a Food Handlers Card before their first day of food handling.
Health District Food Handlers Course
Food handler training is required for any individual working in a food service establishment. Classes provide training in proper food handling, which is required to obtain a food handler certificate. The Health District no longer provides in person classes. Approved online classes can be found on the Texas Department of State Health Services website here.
Note: As of June 22, 2015 Governor Abbott signed into law S.B. 582 which eliminates the authority of a local health jurisdiction to require certain fees. The law states: A food service worker trained in a food handler training course accredited by the American National Standards Institute is considered to have met a local health jurisdiction's training, testing, and permitting requirements. A local health jurisdiction may require a food establishment to maintain on the premises of the food establishment a certificate of completion of the training course for employees of the food establishment.
September 1, 2016 the Health District was no longer able to accept "Lifetime" food handler cards due to the Texas Food Establishment Rules update. Enforcement began January 1, 2020 and includes any food handler cards provided by the Health District with an expiration date exceeding 3 years from the date the class was taken. -25 TAC 228.33(e)