It is estimated that 48 million cases of foodborne illness occur each year in the United States, resulting in approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Over half of all foodborne disease outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are associated with eating in restaurants or delicatessens.
Education plays a major role in the prevention of foodborne illnesses. Due to these facts, new Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) have been accepted and went into effect Oct. 11, 2015. One major change that will impact the food service industry will be the addition of the rule that except in a temporary food establishment and in the case of the certified food manager, all food employees will be required to successfully complete an accredited food handler training course within 60 days of employment. This new rule will go into effect as of Sept. 1, 2016, but compliance prior to that date is strongly encouraged by the state and local health authorities.
For more information on the Texas Food Handlers Certification course, contact Jacquelyn Warnock or go to https://ector.agrilife.org/events/. The courses offered are all face to face but you can complete the course online (English, Spanish, and Chinese/Mandarin).
To access the new rules and supporting documentation, go to the “Laws and Rules” tab at the Texas Department of State Health Services Food Establishment Group website, http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/foodestablishments/default.aspx.