DSHS Standardization Program

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Standardization Program of Food Safety Inspection Officers promotes consistency in the interpretation of the Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) and FDA Food Code. The DSHS Standardization Program aids regulatory agencies enrolled in the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards) with the objective of meeting Standard 2: Trained Regulatory Staff or §228.245 Competency of Inspectors.

Local, county, public health district, and state health jurisdictions who have adopted the Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) may request that their training officer complete standardization with a DSHS Standard who has been certified by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or a DSHS designee with the submission of the DSHS Standardization Verification Nomination Form and the required documentation of their designated training officer to the department for review.

Please note that submission of a nomination form does not guarantee a scheduled DSHS standardization.

The DSHS Standardization Program will review the nomination form for eligibility, educational preparedness, development of the local health dept.’s training program, and progress with the Retail Program Standards.

Standardization candidates must demonstrate thorough knowledge and facility in the following areas:

  • TFER
  • FDA Food Code 2017
  • Food-borne illness risk factors
  • Public health interventions
  • HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
  • Proper use of essential inspection equipment
  • Communication skills 

Standardization is not intended to provide basic training to individual candidates, but rather is intended to confirm a high level of knowledge, understanding, and application of food safety principles.

After the successful completion of the standardization exercises, candidates will be certified as Standardized Food Safety Inspection Officers and must train and standardize food safety inspectors within their regulatory programs as outlined in the DSHS Procedures for Standardization, 3-403 Standardization Maintenance.

Standardization Resources