Food Manager and Food Handler Certification

The Houston Health Department's Food Manager and Food Handler Certificate classes prepare and certify individuals to become food service managers and handlers.

Food establishment COVID-19 safety certification

Icon of circus tent with form and knife on side to indicate food is inside

Who is a food service manager?

A food service manager is a person who has demonstrated that he or she has the knowledge, skills and abilities required to protect the public from foodborne illness by means of successfully completing a certified food manager examination and becoming certified, according to Texas Administrative Code Rule §229.176

Who is a food handler?

A food handler is an individual working with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces, according to Texas Food Establishment Rule §228.2(56).

Classes and certification

  • Online training: State of Texas accredited.
  • Classroom training: The City of Houston provides limited in-person Food Service Manager’s Certification classes at the Environmental Services Division, 7411 Park Place Blvd. The classroom course certificate is valid only in the City of Houston.
  • Reciprocity: Food personnel who have a current accredited national or State of Texas food manager safety card/certificate must also obtain the City of Houston Food Service Manager’s Certification. Complete an application at the Houston Health Department office; submit the certificate for confirmation of reciprocity and photo identification.
  • Optional exam: This one-hour, exam-only option is for people who have knowledge of current food safety practices or have prepared by studying the course manual. Call 832-393-5100 for reservations.

Food manager or handler (classes in Houston, Texas)

Registration and prepayment are required for all classes. Class size is limited.

  • Register by phone: 832-393-5100 (Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

Class fees (subject to change) and how to pay them

  • Fees for 2023
    • FSMC: $87.71
    • Food handler: $12.53
    • Exam: $93.98
  • Pay online: After registering, you will be emailed payment instructions.
  • Pay in person by money order, business check, cashier's check, credit or debit card (no personal checks or cash accepted) at:

    Houston Health Department
    8000 Stadium Drive
    Houston, Texas 77054