Retail Food Establishments

Food safety is serious business in Texas. We strive to prevent foodborne illness in the Lone Star State through personal and professional excellence. This endeavor requires the help of all public health regions, state and federal agencies, local and city health departments, private industry, and the public.

Through teamwork and diligent effort, we can accomplish our mission:  

"To protect public health through the efficient operation of a comprehensive retail food protection program focusing on education, training, and oversight, which will ultimately reduce the potential for foodborne illness in Texas." 

Rule Waiver for Wildfires in Texas Panhandle

Due to the impact of the Texas Panhandle fires on surrounding communities and homes, Governor Abbott has approved the following rule waivers for operators in the area for the duration of the emergency declaration or until specifically rescinded:

  • The waiver of 25 TAC 229.372(a)(1) and 2017 FDA Food Code 8-301.11.1 and 3-201.11(B) allows individuals or groups to prepare food in unlicensed kitchens, including residential kitchens, to donate to people in need during this disaster so long as DSHS provides, and anyone preparing food to donate under this suspension follows, guidance on how to maintain food safety.
  • The waiver of 2017 FDA Food Code 5-203.11-12 allows retail food stores (supermarkets and convenience stores) to continue the sale of packaged groceries in circumstances in which there is no water available for restrooms and handwashing.

The disaster declarations, which include information on which counties they apply to, can be read here.

For questions, please contact DSHS Retail Food Safety Operations at 512-834-6753 or

Proposed Rules

DSHS proposes amendments to TAC, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 229, Food and Drug, Subchapter U, §§229.370 - 229.374, relating to Permitting Retail Food Establishments; and Subchapter Z, §§229.470 - 229.474, relating to Inspection Fees for Retail Food Establishments. The rules are necessary to update definitions, citations, and other language in the rules due to the 2021 adoption-by-reference of the 2017 U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Code in 25 TAC Chapter 228, Retail Food Establishments. The rules remove references to "child care center" because DSHS no longer permits or inspects child care center food service operations. Those rules were transferred to HHSC Regulatory Division.  The rules affect only those Retail Food Establishments that are permitted by DSHS.  The rules also contain no changes to current permitting fees.

The proposed rules were published for formal comment in the Jan. 19, 2024 edition of the Texas Register.  The comment period will end on Feb. 19, 2024.  Comments may be sent to, using the subject “Proposed Rule Set 23R014 Retail Food Establishment Permitting Rules.”  Comments may be mailed to:  Retail Food Safety Operations Unit, MC 1987, Texas Department of State Health Services, ATTN:  Joe Williams, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347.

Recall and Public Health Alert

DSHS Consumer Protection Division is forwarding a Recall and Public Health Alert issued by FDA on October 28, 2023 regarding the voluntary recall of all lots of WanaBana Cinnamon Apple Puree, sold in Dollar Tree stores due to high lead levels.  On October 31, 2023, WanaBana USA voluntarily recalled all lots of the product, that was distributed nationwide through online and retail stores, including Dollar Tree.  Product still on store shelves should be immediately removed and not consumed.  For more information, please see the following links.

FDA Investigation of Elevated Lead Levels: Applesauce Pouches (November 2023)

WanaBana Recalls WanaBana, Weis, and Schnucks Apple Cinnamon Fruit Purée Pouches & Cinnamon Apple Sauce Due to Elevated Lead Levels

Legislative Updates

The 88th Legislature passed two bills with direct impact on food establishments that require implementation by DSHS. DSHS will provide implementation updates on this page. Here is an overview of each bill.

SB 577 (Springer)—Local Food Regulations and the Local Food Regulation Registry

SB 577 provides clarity to food establishments and licensing authorities regarding the enforceability of health regulations.

Municipalities and public health districts impact:

  • DSHS must create a registry for local health ordinances or regulations that differ from state law or DSHS rules or orders. The legislation is specific to municipalities and public health districts. Local enforcement cannot begin until 60 days after the local public health entity submits applicable local health ordinances or regulations to the DSHS registry.

Local public health entity impact:

  • A county or a municipality that is part of a public health district cannot collect licensing fees for alcoholic beverage sales and for certified food manager (CFM) certificates in certain circumstances:
    • A county or municipality cannot collect fees for the licensing of a location to sell alcoholic beverages if:
      • The establishment already has a Retail Food Permit from the county or municipality; and
      • The establishment is already licensed with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
    • A local health jurisdiction cannot require a person to obtain or pay a fee for a local CFM certificate if that person is already a CFM through a DSHS-accredited program.

Local public health entities (including municipalities, counties, and public health districts) and DSHS impact:

  • Local public health entities and DSHS cannot penalize a retail food establishment for not meeting “easily cleanable surface requirements for wall and ceiling surfaces, decorative items, or attachments in a consumer area [i.e., a dining area], provided the surfaces, items, or attachments are kept clean.”
    • There is an exception:  tables, bar tops, and other similar surfaces where food is regularly prepared or consumed must meet easily cleanable surface requirements.
    • This is similar to language in the 2017 FDA Food Code, Section 6-201.17(B): “In a consumer area, wall and ceiling surfaces and decorative items and attachments that are provided for ambiance need not meet this requirement [i.e., “easily cleanable”] if they are kept clean.”
  • Local public health entities and DSHS cannot restrict the type or quantity of packaging, utensils, or straws provided to a customer by a licensee.
    • There is an exception: the Food Code requirements for food-contact surfaces, including packaging and utensils, still apply.

DSHS implementation activities:

  • DSHS is establishing the process for municipalities to submit ordinances or regulations that deviate from the Texas Food Establishment Rules or Texas law. DSHS plans to update this website with instructions and a link to the registry as soon as possible.

Local public health entities must comply with the new legislation beginning September 1, 2023.

SB 812 (Zaffirini)—Food Allergen Awareness

SB 812, the “Sergio Lopez Food Allergy Awareness Act,” includes requirements for food service employees and managers to be more aware of food allergies and to know how to mitigate and respond to potential allergic reactions.

Food Service Establishment Impact

  • Every food service establishment must post a food allergy awareness poster in an area of the establishment that is regularly accessible to the establishment’s food service employees.
    • The poster must include information about:
      • Risks of an allergic reaction to a food allergen
      • Symptoms of an allergic reaction
      • A list of major food allergens, as determined by the FDA, and
      • Appropriate responses for assisting an individual who is having an allergic reaction
    • The Sample Poster is now available at the following link:
    • Food establishments must comply by September 1, 2024.

Certified Food Manager and Food Handler Course Impact

  • Every DSHS-accredited certified food manager and food handler training and examination must include food allergen awareness. This applies to certificates that are issued or renewed on or after September 1, 2024.

Local public health entity impact:

  • Local jurisdictions cannot adopt or enforce orders, ordinances, rules, or any other measures that are inconsistent with these requirements. 

Food Allergen Awareness Adopted Rules Posting

In accordance with SB 812 (88th) regarding Food Allergen Awareness, DSHS Rules Project # 23R052 amends 25 TAC 228 (Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER)) and 25 TAC 229, Subchapter K (Texas Food Establishments). 

The amendment to TFER adds 25 TAC 228.33 requiring the posting of a food allergen awareness poster in an area generally accessible to employees in each retail food establishment. The amendments to 25 TAC 229, Subchapter K require a food allergen awareness component to be included in DSHS-accredited Certified Food Manager and Food Handler trainings and the CFM exam.

The Adopted rules for Food Allergen Poster and Training have been published in the Texas Register.

Texas Register November 24, 2023 Issue

Adopted Rules Title 25 (

The rules will become effective on 12/1/2023.

Texas Retail Food Establishments Jurisdiction Interactive Map

The below map is an online resource that enables visitors to quickly search health departments within the State of Texas.  

Texas allows “home-rule” charter government in the state. Charters are documents that establish the governmental structure and determine the distribution of powers and duties among its branches.  

Home rule charters allow cities and counties to do anything that qualifies as a "public purpose" and is not contrary to the constitution or laws of the state. Cities or counties with active charters have regulatory authority in those areas. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) provides the minimum standards for food safety in the state with the Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER). However, cities and counties with active charters may enforce more stringent rules and regulations. 

For questions about the map, view the step-by-step instructions below or contact the Retail Food Establishments Program


Please follow these instructions to use the interactive map: 

  1. Navigate to the Texas Retail Food Establishments Jurisdiction Interactive Map
  2. Click the + button on the toolbar to zoom in 
  3. Click on different zones on the map to view information about each geographic location. 
  4. Click the "star" or "triangle" symbols to view DSHS Public Health Region office information. 
  5. Click a city or county boundary to view jurisdiction contact information for the location. 

For more detailed instructions, please view the full User Guide for the Texas Retail Food Establishments Jurisdiction Interactive Map. 

Permitting Information

Food service establishments are classified in the following areas: 

Visit the Permitting Information page for descriptions of each establishment type and an overview of licensing options and associated fees. 

For information about food manufacturing, warehousing and wholesaling, view the Food Manufacturers, Wholesalers, and Warehouses

Replacement License Document

If you lost your license, follow the steps below to print a replacement document. You will need to know your license number or ownership name.

  1. Visit the DSHS Online Licensing Services webpage.
  2. Click on the “license search” link under the “Check License Status or Search for a License” category.
  3. Select a search method.
  4. Enter the required information denoted by a red asterisk (*).
  5. Click the white checkbox next to “I’m not a robot” under the “Security Measures” section.
  6. Complete the reCaptcha/Security prompts.
  7. Click on the Search button.
  8. Click on your ownership name.
  9. Click the Print button on the lower right side of the screen.

Post this document in the location of your original license certificate.

If you need to update information on your license, email Foods Licensing Branch or Drug & Food Safety Licensing Branch for assistance.

This document does not extend your license expiration date. It maintains the same expiration date as the original document.

Additional Contact Information

Mailing Address

Retail Food Safety Unit, MC 1987
Texas Department of State Health Services
P. O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
United States

Campus Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mailing Address

Drugs & Food Safety Licensing Branch, MC 1987
Texas Department of State Health Services
P. O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
United States

Mailing Address

Retail Food Safety Unit, MC 1987
Texas Department of State Health Services
P. O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
United States