Draft and Proposed Rules - Retail Food Establishments


SB 476 - Summary

UPDATE:  SENATE BILL 476 (86th Legislature)

Effective September 1, 2019     

Senate Bill 476 added new language (HSC 437.025) to Health and Safety Code Chapter 437 to allow (but not require) food establishment owners to permit customers to bring pet dogs into outdoor dining areas.  “A municipality may not adopt an ordinance, rule, or similar measure that imposes a requirement on a food service establishment for a dog in an outdoor dining area that is more stringent” than the requirements set forth by the bill.  Below are the requirements listed in new HSC 437.025 for an outdoor dining area in which dogs will be allowed:

1.  The establishment must post a sign in a conspicuous location in the area stating that dogs are permitted.

2.  The customer and dog must access the outdoor dining area directly from the exterior of the establishment.

3.  The dog must not enter the interior of the establishment.

4.  The customer must keep the dog on a leash and under control.

5.  The customer must not allow the dog on a seat, table, countertop, or similar surface.

6.  There must be no food preparation or open food other than that served to customers in the outdoor dining area.

The Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) will reflect this new change in upcoming TFER revision.

Full text for Senate Bill 476 please view Texas Legislature Online.

DRAFT RULE: To be announced.   


SB 932 - Summary

UPDATE:  SENTATE BILL 932 (86th Legislature)

Effective September 1, 2019

SB 932 created new Section 437.0065 in Health and Safety Code Chapter 437.  

The bill limits the permitting fee charged to (a) a farmer for the “sale of food directly to consumers at a farmers’ market, a farm stand, or the farmer’s farm” and (b) “an individual who prepares food for sale at a farmers’ market” to an annual fee of $100.  The permit must be valid for at least one year and “cover sales at all locations within the jurisdiction of the permitting authority.”

Full text for Senate Bill 932 please view Texas Legislature Online


HB 234 - Summary

UPDATE:  HOUSE BILL 234 (86th Legislature)

Effective:  September 1, 2019

HB 234 amends Chapter 250 of the Local Government Code and Chapter 202 of the Property Code to state that municipalities, counties, other local health jurisdictions, may not prohibit or regulate, including by license, permit, or fee, the “occasional sale of lemonade or other nonalcoholic beverages from a stand on private property or in a public park by an individual younger than 18 years of age.”  

HB 234 also amends Chapter 202 of the Property Code to state that a property owners’ association may not adopt or enforce a restrictive covenant that prohibits or regulates, including by permit or fee, the “occasional sale of lemonade or other nonalcoholic beverages from a stand on property located in the subdivision by an individual younger than 18 years of age who has the permission of the property owner. . . .”  The bill further states that the property owners’ association (1) owes no duty of care to persons participating in the beverage sale and (2) is not liable for injuries to persons participating in the beverage sale unless the injuries are the result of “willful or wanton acts or gross negligence of the association.”

Full text for House Bill 234 please view Texas Legislature Online


SB 572 - Summary

UPDATE: SENATE BILL 572 (86th Legislature)

Effective: September 1, 2019

SB 572 amends HSC 437 with significant changes to the allowances and requirements regarding Cottage Food Operators:

  1. The bill expands the list of foods that can be produced as cottage foods to include fermented vegetable products; acidified canned goods (plant-based only); pickled fruit and vegetables; frozen raw and uncut fruit and vegetables; and any other food that is not time/temperature control for safety (TCS).
  2. The bill sets forth production and labeling requirements for cottage food operators who produce fermented vegetable products, acidified canned goods, and pickled fruit and vegetables.  As a resource for the production requirements, the bill requires DSHS to post certain information on the department website.
  3. The bill removes previous language from HSC 437.001(2-b)(C) that restricted location of sale of cottage foods.
  4. The bill expands method of sale of cottage foods to include mail order and the internet while still requiring that the product be delivered directly to the consumer by the operator.  Shipping and third-party delivery services are not allowed.
  5. The bill sets forth specific labeling requirements, in addition to those already in effect for all cottage food operators, for fermented vegetable products, acidified canned goods, pickled fruit and vegetables, and frozen, raw and uncut fruit and vegetables.

Full text for Senate Bill 572 please view Texas Legislature Online 

Cottage Food Proposed Rules are now published for formal comment in the Texas Register.

Open comment period: October18, 2019 - November 18, 2019 at 5PM.

Table of Contents - (PDF)

Proposed Rules - Chapter 229. Food and Drug Subchapter EE. Cottage Food Production Operation 25 TAC §229.661 - (PDF)

PUBLIC COMMENT

  • Questions about the content of this proposal may be directed to Joe Williams, R.S. at (512) 231-5653 in DSHS Public Sanitation and Retail Food Safety Unit.
  • Written comments on the proposal may be submitted to:
    • Joe Williams, R.S., Manager
      DSHS Public Sanitation and Retail Food Safety Unit
      Public Sanitation and Retail Food Safety Unit MC 1987
      Texas Department of State Health Services
      P.O. Box 149347, Austin, Texas 78714-9347 
  • Email: foodestablishments@dshs.texas.gov
    • When emailing comments, please indicate "Comments on Proposed Rule 19R077" in the subject line.

***To be considered, comments must be submitted no later than 31 days after the date of this issue of the Texas Register. Comments must be: (1) postmarked or shipped before the last day of the comment period; (2) hand-delivered at 8407 Wall Street, Austin, Texas 78754 before 5:00 p.m. on the last working day of the comment period; or (3) emailed before midnight on the last day of the comment period. If last day to submit comments falls on a holiday, comments must be postmarked, shipped, or emailed before midnight on the following business day to be accepted.*** 


HB 1694 - Summary

UPDATE: House Bill 1694 (86th Legislature)

Effective: September 1, 2019

HB 1694 amends HSC Chapter 437 to prohibit permitting for food samples at a farm or farmer’s market—including cottage foods.  It prohibits a local HD from regulating samples at a farmer’s market other than sanitary conditions already prescribed in HSC 437.020(c).  It allows inspection to enforce the requirements of HSC 437.020 regarding samples at a farmer’s market.  It also allows a requirement for a permit for food cooked and sold or distributed at a farmer’s market.  It also adds “cottage food” to the definition of “food” at HSC 437.020(2)(F).

Full text for House Bill 1694 please view Texas Legislature Online


** FURTHER BILL INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED AS APPROVED **


As of October 2, 2015, there are no draft or proposed rules.


If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Public Sanitation and Retail Food Establishment Group at 1-512-834-6753.

Last updated October 24, 2019