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Certified Food Manager Program

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Certified Food Manager (CFM) Program has been accrediting food manager training programs since 1988. Today, food manager training and certification has become a standard of the food industry as well as a regulatory standard throughout the state of Texas.

The CFM Program accredits and licenses training programs for candidates new to the food industry who may need training. DSHS also licenses Test Sites that provide the food manager's examination to those who have sufficient background in the food industry and wish to take the examination. Examinations offered through training programs and test sites are accredited through American National Standards Institute – Conference for Food Protection (ANSI-CFP). CFM certificates issued through these providers receive national reciprocity. The CFM Program also licenses internet examination providers. CFM certificates issued through these providers receive state-wide reciprocity.

Senate Bill (SB) 1158 of the 85th legislature (2017) amends Health and Safety Code Chapter 437 to establish that a county with a population of at least four (4) million may require a certified or trained food manager to be on duty during the operating hours of a food establishment. This Bill takes effect September 1, 2017.

The DSHS, CFM Program remains dedicated to the health and safety of the citizens of the state, educating food service employees in the principles of food safety to produce safe food products for Texas consumers.


Requirement for Individuals Seeking Food Manager Certification

Do not apply or send money to DSHS to register for a CFM training program or CFM examination (Application Fees are Non-Refundable). DSHS does not administer CFM training or examinations or provide CFM certificates. 

DSHS stopped administering the CFM examination on January 7, 2010. Individuals testing after that date must take the CFM examination through a CFM training program or examination provider. CFM examinations offered through training programs and examination providers are accredited by American National Standards Institute – Conference for Food Protection (ANSI-CFP) or DSHS. CFM certificates issued through ANSI-CFP providers receive national reciprocity. CFM certificates issued through DSHS providers receive state reciprocity. DSHS does not keep training records or CFM certificates provided by accredited examination providers or training programs. Please contact examination providers or training programs directly for information regarding CFM certificates.

Food establishments permitted by a local health jurisdiction should contact that specific jurisdiction to obtain information regarding their requirements for food manager certification.

Obtaining a Food Manager Certification

The food manager certification is obtained by passing a DSHS or ANSI-CFP approved food manager certification examination. The food manger certification examination may be taken at any accredited examination provider or training program. Certification is valid for five years.

County health departments, public health districts, and city health departments must accept certificates issued for passing any DSHS approved examination as meeting the training and testing requirements of the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 438.

Training Programs

CFM training programs may offer traditional classroom or online training (14 hours) to individuals who are new to the food industry and have need of quality training. An ANSI-CFP or DSHS approved examination is given at the completion of the training. Upon successful completion of the examination, a CFM certificate is issued that is valid in Texas.

CFM Examination Providers

Test Sites

Test sites are physical locations at which a DSHS-approved Internet examination or an ANSI-CFP examination is administered. Test schedules and locations may be obtained by contacting the licensed test site. Test sites provide the CFM examination to those who have adequate knowledge in the food industry to take the examination. Upon successful completion of the examination, a CFM certificate is issued that is valid in Texas.

Internet Examination Providers

Internet examinations are DSHS-approved examination delivery systems utilizing the Internet for food manager certification. Internet examination providers provide the CFM examination to those who have adequate knowledge in the food industry to take the examination. Upon successful completion of the examination, a CFM certificate is issued that is valid in Texas.

ANSI-CFP Examination Providers

ANSI and the Conference for Food Protection have a cooperative agreement to accredit organizations involved in the certification of food protection managers. This program is based on the Conference for Food Protection Accreditation Standards and is recognized by the DSHS. ANSI-CFP examination providers provide the CFM examination to those who have adequate knowledge in the food industry to take the examination. Upon successful completion of the examination, a CFM certificate is issued that is valid in Texas.


Obtaining Test Results

Candidates who have taken a food manager examination should obtain examination results from the accredited program or licensed test site where the examination was administered.


Food Manager Certificates

An official Certified Food Manager Certificate is issued to each candidate upon passing the examination. This certificate must be posted in an area that is conspicuous to the consumers.

  • The official National Certified Food Manager Certificate issued by each licensed national program varies in size and issuance process. Candidates should check with the examination provider for specific information.

Update on Hurricane Harvey Waivers for DSHS License Holders

On August 23, 2017, the Office of the Governor issued a disaster proclamation in response to Hurricane Harvey and temporarily suspended the statutes and rules pertaining to professional and business licenses or certification renewal applications. During the suspension, DSHS extended license expiration dates for professionals and businesses in the affected counties and waived the late fees for those who submitted renewal applications.

On December 17, 2018, the Office of the Governor terminated the suspension of the DSHS statutes and rules related to the Hurricane Harvey disaster.

Effective March 1, 2019, DSHS will no longer extend license expiration dates or waive late fees for any licensed professionals or businesses in the following counties: 

Angelina, Aransas, Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Bexar, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Colorado, Comal, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Wells, Karnes, Kerr, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Live Oak, Madison, Matagorda, Milam, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Trinity, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, Willacy, and Wilson.

What this Means for License Holders in these counties:

To avoid a late fee, you will need to submit your license or certification renewal application with the required fees along with any required supplemental documentation, in accordance with the applicable requirements for your license or certification type by February 28, 2019.  

Late fees will be assessed on applications postmarked on or after March 1, 2019.

The current status of a license may also be verified online.


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Contact Information

Email: Certified Food Manager Program
Phone: (512) 834-6727
Fax: (512) 834-6741

Mailing addresses may be found on the contact page.

Last updated May 15, 2019