Texas health department seeks comments on food establishment rules

The Texas Department of State Health Services has published draft changes to the Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) – which govern restaurants, grocery stores, co-ops, delivery services, and many farmers’ market vendors. The agency is taking “informal” comments on the draft before moving to the formal proposed rule stage.

The changes are mostly small and benign. BUT this is a good opportunity to encourage the agency to make additional, substantive changes to help local farmers and food production! FARFA has submitted comments urging the agency to (1) allow restaurants and retailers to buy ungraded eggs from farmers, and (2) clarify that fermented vegetables are a low-risk food and discourage local health departments from requiring complicated paperwork for chefs who want to make these delicious healthy foods.

If you are a farmer, restaurant, or retailer who would be impacted by these changes, please add your voice to ours! You can submit comments until COB on Wednesday, September 30 by emailing foodestablishments@dshs.texas.gov. Use the subject line “Comments on Draft Rule 20R023.” Read FARFA’s comments here.