A food service operation is any place where food is prepared and intended for individual portion service. This includes the site at which individual portions are provided for consumption on or off the premises and regardless of whether there is a charge for the food.
Food Service Establishments
Consumer Health Services performs inspections and permitting for food service establishments in Galveston County. The purpose of this program is to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission through food. The regulation "An Order Establishing the Permitting and Enforcement of State Law and State Rules for Food Service Establishments, Retail Food Stores, Mobile Food Vending Units, and Roadside Food Vendors" describes the requirements for obtaining a food service permit from the Health District.
- Food Service Permit Application
- Obtaining a Food Manufacturer's License through Texas Department of State Health Services
- Texas Food Establishment Rules (Revised October 2015)
- Food Service Establishment Policy (Revised January 2016)
- Food Safety Education
- The Importance of Handwashing
Food Service Establishments Permit Fees
|Risk Level||Fees||Inspection Frequency|
|High Risk||$300/year||Minimum 4 times per year|
||Minimum 2 times per year|
||Minimum 1 time per year|
To obtain a permit, follow the procedures outlined in "Opening a Food Establishment in Galveston County".
Mobile Food Service Operations
A mobile food service unit is a vehicle mounted food establishment designed to be readily movable. Permitting, Fees, and Inspections, Licensing, fees, and inspection frequency is determined by a risk assessment of the mobile unit operations.
Mobile Food Service Permit Fees
|RISK LEVEL||FEES||INSPECTION FREQUENCY|
|High Risk||$300/year||Minimum 4 times per year|
|Medium Risk||$275/year||Minimum 2 times per year|
|Low Risk||$250/year|| Minimum 1 time per year
To obtain a permit for a mobile unit, follow the procedures outlined in "Procedures for Obtaining a Foodservice Permit for a Mobile Unit".
Temporary Food Service Operations
A temporary food service operation is a food establishment that operates for no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration.
Temp. Food Service Permitting, Fees, and Inspections
The permit fee is $75.00 unless the proceeds from the event are going to an organization designated by the Internal Revenue Service as non-profit. The identification number issued by the IRS must be provided at the time of obtaining the permit to waive the permitting fee. Business and personal checks are NOT accepted as payment for temporary food permits.
The permit fee is $100.00 if not submitted two full business days prior to the event.
If a temporary food establishment must be permitted on the day of the event the permit fee will be $250.00.
When obtaining a permit the following information must be provided:
- Application for Temporary Food Permits
- Temporary Organizers Agreement
- Information for Temporary Food Booths
- Food (including ingredients) Drinks Source/Vendor
- Place of preparation
- Cooking equipment
- Transporting/Cold holding facilities
- Holding equipment
An inspection will be performed by a Health District inspector during the event to ensure compliance.
A Farmers Market is an organized entity/operation, certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture, that primarily allows a group of farmers/producers to market and sell their farm produce and products in a specific location. These products would include:
- fish or other aquatic species;
- livestock, a livestock product,or a livestock by-product;
- planting seed;
- poultry, a poultry product, or a poultry by-product;
- wildlife processed for food or by-products;
- a product made from a listed product by a farmer or other producer who grew or processed the product; or
Vendors of farm products may operate within the Farmers Market if registered with the Market and are in compliance with food handling regulations.
Farmers Market Permitting
Vendors registered with a Farmers Market to sell potentially hazardous goods (those products that require temperature control to maintain food safety) may operate with an annual temporary permit usable only within the confines of the market. These vendors may operate only during the Market’s stated operating hours. The fee for an annual temporary permit is $175.00 per year in association with a Farmers Market. These fees are not refundable.
Boil Water Advisory Guidance for Food Establishments
Public water systems issue boil water notices to notify their users when the drinking water may not be safe to consume. A boil water notice is issued when there is a coliform bacteria violation; when the water turbidity is over 5.0 NTU; when the water pressure is less than 20PSI; or when there is a waterborne disease outbreak.
The retail food establishment manager is responsible for conducting assessments to ensure compliance with food safety requirements.
Temporary measures that can be done when a retail food establishment is under a “boil order” are available here.