Why Food Handler
Training is Important

Posted - June 26, 2023

As a food handler, your responsibilities are varied, and they can keep you busy throughout the day. You may find yourself overlooking things that may not seem so important until they cause a problem. One of the most serious concerns for anyone handling food should be food-borne illnesses.

In Texas, it is a legal requirement that all food handlers must be trained in safe food handling through an accredited food handler course. Furthermore, it is a legal requirement than any business that handles food have a manager or person-in-charge that has a food manager certification.

Food-Bourne Illness in Texas

According to a 10-year study, which highlights and ranks each state in the United States for Food-borne illness outbreaks, Texas ranked 4 overall – meaning the lone star state is one of the best places in the United States to avoid an outbreak. However, there is still room for improvement. Over the 10-year period, Texas had 157 outbreaks. The biggest instigator was Salmonella followed by Listeria and Norovirus.   

The Dangers of Noncompliance

If you are noncompliant with any food safety laws, your food establishment could be fined. In serious noncompliance cases your food establishment may be shut down temporarily or permanently – these can be issued with immediate effect.

Noncompliance can have serious consequences on your business. As well as the fines and orders mentioned above, you should keep in mind that if anyone suffers from food poisoning due to your negligence, your food establishment could also face lawsuits that can be extremely costly.

Types of Food Safety Training

In Texas, there are two types of food safety training courses; one for Food Handlers and another for Food Managers. Any food handler in Texas must take an accredited Food Handler Course. This course covers the principles of food safety and generally 1-2 hours in length and no food handlers test is required. All food handlers must take this basic food protection course to receive a food handlers card or food handlers certificate within 60 days of being hired.

Note: If you are from a state outside of Texas, you may recognize a food handers card as a food handlers permit, a food safety certificate, or a food handlers permit.

The second food safety course is for Food Managers. Every food service establishment must have a manager or person-in-charge that has sufficient food safety training to protect the public from food-borne illnesses. The manager or person-in-charge is required to complete a Certified Food Manger Training Program to obtain a food manager certification. The traditional class room course usually takes 14 hours, over a 2-day period, to complete.