ServSafe for Educators

PrintWouldn’t you like to be able to certify yourself and your students in food safety through the nationally recognized ServSafe program? The Texas Restaurant Foundation (TRF) is making that possible by training and certifying over 275 high school educators as ServSafe instructors who then train and certify hundreds of high school students across the state. In fact, ServSafe Food Manager Certification, which is part of the Texas ProStart curriculum, has become the standard industry certification offered in high school courses.

Additionally, TRF encourages the use of ServSafe Food Handler Guide as an introductory curriculum in high school foods related courses such as food science, restaurant management, nutrition, introduction to culinary, and introduction to hospitality and tourism. These students gain a strong foundation in the basics of sanitation.

How do I become a ServSafe Instructor?

Many high school educators are adopting the ServSafe food safety program across the state. ServSafe is a way to enhance any program related to foodservice. TRF offers:

New Food Handler Mandate

As of September 1, 2016 all restaurant employees dealing with food are required to have a food handler permit.

All hourly food handlers in Texas will need to obtain food safety training before September 1, 2016. The Texas Food Establishment Rule (TFER) 228 mandates that “all food employees, except for the certified food manager, shall successfully complete an accredited food handler training course, within 60 days of employment.” This rule will officially be enforced September 1 of this year.

Culinary students are not required to obtain a Texas Food Handler permit. Students are classified as “volunteers, those individuals that work with food or food related items but are not employed by the food establishment”. To meet this exemption students must be supervised by a person/educator who has had food handler training or is a certified food manager. Along with this rule change, there was a law change with Texas Senate Bill SB-582 that made it so all health departments in the state of Texas must recognize any ANSI-accredited food handler training.

From the Texas Department of State Health Services website:

The following are exempt from food handler training requirement:

  • Certified Food Manager
  • Food establishment that only serves pre-packaged items

The following are exempt from food handler training as long as they are supervised by a person who has had either food handler training or is a Certified Food Manager:

  • Individuals with an Intellectual Disability
  • Persons in a rehabilitation or correctional facility that work with food or food related items as part of their rehabilitation
  • Persons who aid in activities of daily living (ADLs) (such as but not limited to certified nurse assistants, nurses, etc.)
  • Persons who distribute pre-portioned food items in settings such as but not limited to classrooms, daycare, and similar facilities.
  • Volunteers, those individuals that work with food or food related items but are not employed by the food establishment

To order Food Handler or Servsafe training materials contact Steve Henige,, Academic Sales Manager of the National Restaurant Association. Questions? Contact Susan Petty at 512-457-4100 or email

How do I implement the Food Handler program?

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