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Texas health department cuts length of time foodservice workers have to complete safety training


Texas foodservice employees must now complete food safety certification within 30 days of their hire date. - UNSPLASH / JESSON MATA
  • UnSplash / Jesson Mata
  • Texas foodservice employees must now complete food safety certification within 30 days of their hire date.
Texas' health department this month updated its Texas Food Establishment Rules with a new provision that slashes the amount of time new foodservice employees have to complete food-safety training.

Effective August 8, new workers who aren't already certified via the Texas Food Handler program must now complete that certification within 30 days of their hire date, according to the new Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) rules. Previously, they had a 60-day window.

"What I would like to think is that prospective employees would have it completed already to be proactive in finding employment," Fully Belly Café chef and San Antonio Restaurant Association President James Moore said of the rule change. "[The certification] is good for five years. I would even be willing to consider incentivizing employees ... that did not previously have it."

DSHS also made statewide some regulations that have been San Antonio Metro Health requirements for some time, including the rule that a certified food-protection manager be present at all foodservice establishments at all times. Businesses also must post paperwork showing the managers' certification in a place where the public can see it.

Texas' food-protection manager certification process verifies that a manager or person-in-charge has sufficient, in-depth knowledge to avoid food-borne illness. That certification is a more rigorous course than the basic food-handler training required of line-level employees.

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