Food Service Establishments

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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.

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Food Service Establishments Permit Fees

PLEASE NOTE: An Additional 2% convenience fee will be charged for all credit card payments.

Risk Level Fees Inspection Frequency
High Risk $350/year Minimum 2 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, 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

High Risk $350/year Minimum 2 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 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.

If the permit fee is not paid two full business days before the event, the fee will be $100 ($75 permit fee plus $25 administrative processing fee.) Non-profits would pay only the $25 processing fee.

If a temporary food establishment must be permitted on the day of the event, the fee will be $250 ($75 permit fee plus a $175 administrative fee to expedite the permit.) Non-profits would only pay the $175 administrative fee to expedite the permit.

When obtaining a permit the following information must be provided:

An inspection will be performed by a Health District inspector during the event to ensure compliance.

Farmers Markets

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
  • produce.

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) or other unpackaged food 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 per year in association with a Farmers Market. Another fee, only for farmers or producers, allows people that grow or raise their own food to sell it at any farmers market in Galveston County. This annual Farmer Market Producer fee is $100.00.  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.

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