Texas Food Licensing 101: All You Need To Know

In Texas, food service licenses are regulated by the Department of State Health Services. These licenses can be divided into temporary food establishment permits, retail food establishment permits, and mobile food unit permits.

Food trucks offer a unique way of serving prepared foods, at fairs and festivals, in the streets, or designated areas like offices and factories during breaks. But, remember that to sell or serve any type of prepared foods in Texas, you must have a state health services department permit.

Food Permits You Need To Know About Before Starting Your Business

Mobile Food Permit

Mobile food unit permits are issued to trailers, trucks, and other mobile units that serve or sell pre-packaged foods. Some examples of items served under this permit include: soft drinks, prepackaged ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, and candy bars.

Mobile food unit licensing is not required if the food is sold or served at a private home, church, school, hospital, or other medical institution.

Temporary Food Establishment Permit

According to the state health services department website, the temporary food establishment permit can be issued to any type of business that plans on selling “pre-packaged food items for immediate consumption.” 

These permits are typically used by grocery stores and snack bars.

Retail Food Establishment Permit

Retail food establishment permits are required for any business selling or serving “fresh, cooked to order, potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food.” 

This license would apply to fast-food restaurants and full-service dining establishments. A separate permit must be obtained to serve alcohol.

It’s important to note that food establishment permits are only required if the business is located within a certain distance of other establishments or public facilities—such as churches, schools, hospitals, daycares, and parks. If these businesses aren’t in proximity, then mobile food unit licenses may be all you need!

Let The Food Move You

If you’re planning to open a food service startup business and don’t know where to start, at Trailer King Builders, we can help you out. Get in touch with us today, and we will assist you every step of the journey.

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