Meat Safety Assurance Unit
Renderers are regulated under the “The Texas Renderers’ Licensing Act” (Act) - Health and Safety Code Chapter 144 and "Transporting Dead Animals and Rendering" - 25 TAC 221.1 thru 221.9. (Rules)
What is Rendering?
Rendering businesses handle dead animals and/or renderable raw materials, which substantially consist of any unprocessed or partially processed material of animal or plant origin, waste cooking greases and recyclable cooking oil. Over the years there has been substantial technological advancement within the rendering industry. Renderers convert otherwise useless or low value material into products for more economical use and market these products both nationally and internationally. Some of the sectors involved in the use of rendering products include the livestock, poultry and pet food industries, which utilize the products to provide fat and protein in rations; the industrial sector, which produces thousands of products containing tallow or tallow derivatives including some soap and personal care products; and most recently rendering products have provided a source material for bio diesel. The “Act” and rules apply to all persons handling renderable raw materials for commercial gain.
The Texas Department of State Health Services' (DSHS) role is to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public, providing oversite to rendering businesses, assuring that rendering materials handled by rendering businesses are stored, produced, transported and transferred in an environment that will not create a nuisance, and to preclude the entry of inedible renderable products into the human food chain.
Who Must Be Licensed?
- A person may not operate a rendering business, or any adjunct to a rendering business, without having a rendering establishment operating license issued by DSHS or another appropriate operating license under Chapter 144 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
- A person may not operate or maintain a related station without a related station operating license issued by DSHS.
- A person may not operate or maintain a transfer station without a transfer station operating license issued by DSHS.
- A person may not operate as a dead animal hauler without a dead animal hauler operating license issued by DSHS unless the person is an employee of a rendering establishment.
- A person may not operate as a renderable raw material hauler without a renderable raw material hauler operating license issued by DSHS unless the person is an employee of a rendering establishment.
Who is Exempt?
A person is exempt if they:
- slaughter, butcher, manufacture, or sell animal flesh or products only for use as food for human consumption; or
- transport or dispose of the bodies of animals killed for use as food for human consumption, or the products of those bodies, only for that purpose and use;
- and they do not perform rendering operations or processes.
Governmental agencies that collect, transport, or dispose of dead animals or renderable raw materials are also exempt.
To be considered by DSHS for an operating license, a person must submit a sworn application to DSHS. The application must:
- state whether the applicant intends to operate as a rendering establishment, related station, transfer station, dead animal hauler, or renderable raw material hauler;
- state the location from which the business is to be conducted; and
- include other relevant information required by DSHS to determine the applicant's compliance with the operating procedures established under the Health & Safety Code, Chapter 144. Renderers, Subchapter C.
The application must be accompanied by the application fee.
DSHS shall issue the appropriate operating license if, after investigation, it finds that the applicant's operations or proposed operations meet the requirements of the Health & Safety Code, Chapter 144. Renderers, Subchapter C.
If DSHS finds that the applicant's operations or proposed operations do not meet the requirements of the Health & Safety Code, Chapter 144. Renderers, Subchapter C, DSHS shall deny the application and shall notify the applicant in writing of each reason why the applicant fails to meet those requirements. The applicant is entitled to 90 days to meet the requirements, after which DSHS shall reinvestigate.
If DSHS determines after reinvestigation that the applicant is not in compliance, DSHS shall again deny the application and promptly notify the applicant in writing of each reason why the applicant fails to meet the requirements.
If DSHS denies an application twice, the application is canceled. The applicant is entitled to a hearing before the Commissioner of Health on the denial if the applicant requests the hearing not later than the 30th day after the date of the second denial. The hearing must be conducted not later than the 30th day after the date of the request.
Unless the period is extended by a written agreement between DSHS and the applicant, DSHS shall grant or deny a license application not later than the 30th day after the date on which:
- the application and the required fee is filed with DSHS;
- the period to meet the requirements expires; or
- a hearing on the application denial is conducted.
Chapter 144, SubChapter D of the Health and Safety Code (HSC) provides information on Construction Permits. Except as provided by Section 144.042 of the HSC, a person may not construct a new rendering business, a new related station, a new transfer station, or engage in construction involving an addition or replacement at such facilities without a construction permit from DSHS. All construction must meet the minimum requirements of HSC 144.051 thru 144.055 except to the extent that DSHS may grant a written variance. To receive a construction permit a person must submit a sworn application to DSHS along with the appropriate construction permit fee. This construction permit application should be accompanied by blueprints and specifications for the intended facility or new addition. General construction and operational requirements can be found in 25 TAC 221, Subchapter A of the rules.