Opening a Food Establishment in Galveston County

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Submitting Plans

Plans drawn to scale, blueprints or contractor's drawings, for new construction or renovation of an existing structure, must be submitted to the Health District for approval. Plans should show the layout (identifying equipment and providing an equipment list), arrangement and construction material of the entire proposed food service establishment operations, including food preparation, storage and service areas, dining areas and outside garbage storage areas.

  • A Menu or list of all foods and beverages to be served shall be submitted.
  • A Description of Operation (in writing) of how you plan to operate your establishment shall also be submitted. (Will it be? handout orders only, catering, manufacturing, etc.)

Note: Feel free to ask Health District personnel to come out and look at an existing building and/or establishment that you have in mind before you make a purchase or sign a contract to help get a general idea of how much repair work may be needed.

  • A Food Service Plan Review must be conducted prior to starting construction, remodeling, or renovations. A copy of the floor plans, menu and a description of the operation must be submitted for review and approval at this time. A plan review fee from $175.00 to $225.00 may be assessed. Appointments must be made in advance for plan reviews.

Contact other municipal departments (i.e. plumbing, building, electrical, fire, zoning, etc.) for additional requirements. A Certificate of Occupancy will be required before issuance of a Health Permit (where applicable.)

Once your floor plans have been approved and you have started work on your establishment, feel free to call the Health District to ask questions, get advice or even ask them to come out to see your progress.

  • A Pre-opening inspection of your establishment (upon your request) must be conducted by the Health District once all construction is completed and equipment is in place. An appointment for this inspection should be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. This inspection will list all corrections to be made prior to the final inspection.
  • A Final inspection is conducted for the purpose of approving the application for a Food Service permit. Before this inspection is conducted, the establishment must be in complete compliance with the Health District's Rules and Regulations, (all cleanup work etc., must be done.) This inspection is made upon your request and should be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

NOTE: We suggest that you do not advertise an opening date until after the final inspection has been conducted. Food and beverages shall not be stored on the premises until your establishment has been approved for a Food Service Permit. After the Application for Food Service Permit has been approved and issued to you by the Health District, it must be returned to the Health District with the required fee to purchase your Food Service Permit.

Once you have purchased your Food Service Permit, you may operate your establishment. The Food Service Permit must be posted in a conspicuous place.

GUIDELINES FOR FOOD ESTABLISHMENT OPERATORS

The following information is presented as a GUIDELINE ONLY to outline the primary requirements for a food establishment in Galveston County. Specific needs should be discussed with Health District Sanitarians.

  • 04 Conveniently located refrigeration facilities or effectively insulated facilities shall be provided to assure the maintenance of all potentially hazardous food.
  • 04 Conveniently located hot food storage facilities shall be provided to assure the maintenance of food at the required temperature during storage.
  • 14 Food preparation sink(s) should be installed.
  • 16 A three (3) compartment sink shall be used for washing, rinsing and sanitizing of utensils and equipment. Sinks shall be large enough to permit the complete immersion of the utensils and equipment and each compartment sink shall be supplied with hot and cold potable running water. If a dishwashing machine is also used, it shall be approved, properly installed, maintained in good repair and operated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • 16 Drainboards or easily movable dish-tables of adequate size for the proper handling of soiled utensils prior to washing and for cleaned utensils following sanitization shall be provided at the three (3) compartment sink and/or dishwashing machine.
  • 29 Plumbing shall be sized, installed, and maintained according to law.
  • 30 The potable water system shall be installed to preclude the possibility of backflow.
  • 29 Grease trap, when required, shall be located to be easily accessible for cleaning.
  • 36 Floor and floor coverings of all food preparation, food storage, and utensil-washing areas, and the floors of all walk-in refrigerating units, dressing rooms, locker rooms, toilet rooms and vestibules shall be constructed of smooth durable material such as sealed concrete, terrazzo, ceramic tile, durable grades of linoleum or plastic, or tight wood impregnated with plastic, and shall be maintained in good repair.
  • 37 The walls, including non supporting partitions, wall coverings, and ceilings of walk-in refrigerating units, food preparation areas, food storage areas, equipment-washing and utensil-washing areas, toilet rooms and vestibules shall be light-colored, smooth, nonabsorbent, and easily cleanable.
  • 37 Studs, joists, and rafters shall not be exposed in: walk-in refrigerating units, food preparation areas, food storage areas, equipment and utensil-washing areas, toilet rooms or vestibules. Utility service lines and pipes shall not be unnecessarily exposed on walls or ceilings in these areas.
  • 29 A utility sink or curbed cleaning facility with a floor drain shall be provided and used for the cleaning of mops or similar wet floor cleaning tools and for the disposal of mop water or similar liquid wastes.
  • 38 At least 50 foot candles of light shall be provided at a surface where a food employee is working with food or working with utensils or equipment such as knives, slicers, grinders, or saws where employee safety is a factor. At least 20 foot candles of light shall be provided to all surfaces where food is provided for consumer self-service or where fresh produce or packaged foods are sold or offered for consumption, inside equipment, equipment and utensil storage areas, utensil-washing, and hand-washing areas, and in toilet rooms. At least 10 foot candles of light shall be provided in walk-in refrigeration units and dry storage areas and all other areas.
  • 38 Shielding to protect against broken glass falling onto food shall be provided for all artificial lighting fixtures located over, by, or within food storage, preparation, service and display facilities, and facilities where utensils and equipment are cleaned and stored.
  • 39 Restrooms shall be mechanically vented to the outside. Ventilation system shall be installed and operated according to law.
  • 42 Food service establishments and all parts of the property used in connection with operations of the establishments shall be free of litter.
  • 42 The walking and driving surfaces of all exterior areas of food service establishments shall be surfaced with concrete or asphalt, or with gravel or similar material effectively treated to facilitate maintenance and minimize dust. These surfaces shall be graded to prevent pooling and kept free of litter.
  • 31 Toilet facilities shall be installed according to law, shall be the number required by law, shall be accessible to employees at all times.
  • 31 Lavatories shall be at least the number required by law, shall be installed according to law and shall be located to permit convenient use by all employees in food preparation areas and utensil-washing area.
  • 27 Each lavatory shall be provided with hot and cold water tempered by means of a mixing valve or combination faucet.
  • 33 There shall be a sufficient number of containers to hold all garbage and refuse that accumulates.
  • 27 Water under pressure at the required temperatures shall be provided to all fixtures and equipment that use water.
  • 27 A facility shall be provided and used for washing all garbage containers. This facility shall be provided with hot water and detergent or steam for cleaning.
  • 28 Liquid waste from compacting or cleaning operations shall be disposed of as sewage.
  • 28 All sewage, including liquid waste, shall be disposed of through a public sewerage system or an approved private sewerage system constructed and operated according to law.
  • 34 Garbage and refuse containers shall be stored on or above a smooth surface of nonabsorbent material, such as concrete or machine-laid asphalt, that is kept clean, maintained in good repair and drained to a sanitary sewer, where required by law.
  • 08 Food and containers of food shall not be stored under exposed or unprotected sewer lines or water lines, except for automatic fire protection sprinkler heads that may be required by law.
  • 14/15 Multi-use equipment and utensils shall be constructed and repaired with safe materials shall be corrosion resistant and nonabsorbent; and shall be smooth, easily cleanable, and durable under conditions of normal use.
  • 14/15 All equipment and utensils, including plasticware, shall be designed and fabricated for durability under conditions of normal use and shall be resistant to denting, buckling, pitting, chipping, and crazing.
  • 36 Exposed utility service lines and pipes shall be installed in a way that does not obstruct or prevent cleaning of the floor. In all new or extensively remodeled establishments, installation of exposed horizontal utility lines and pipes on the floor is prohibited.
  • 36 Exposed utility service lines and pipes shall be installed in a way that does not obstruct or prevent the cleaning of walls or ceilings. Utility service lines and pipes shall not be unnecessarily exposed on walls or ceilings of walk-in refrigerating units, food preparation areas, food storage areas, equipment-washing areas, toilet rooms and vestibules.

NOTE:

  1. A copy of your menu (a list of all foods and beverages to be served) shall be submitted.
  2. A drawing of the floor plan, including the required equipment shall be submitted. ( Floor plan and equipment must be drawn to scale.)
  3. A food service plan review must be conducted for the purpose of approving floor plans prior to starting construction and/or remodeling.
  4. Each time changes or revisions are made on floor plans after the initial approval, plans must be submitted again for approval.

If additional information is required, please call our office. Thank you for your cooperation.

Galveston County Health District
9850-D Emmett F. Lowry Expressway
Texas City, TX 77591
(409)938-7221