Houston Health Department

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.


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

  • Classes: The City of Houston provides classroom-only training at locations around the city; however, you may complete any of the State of Texas or nationally accredited food managers programs listed below. After completing the course and the exam, obtain City of Houston certification by reciprocity.
  • 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.
    If approved, pay the $39.90 fee. (As of Jan.1, 2019, fee is $40.85).
  • 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 training (online classes)

Food Handler Training (online classes)

Food Manager or Handler (classes in houston, tx)

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

  1. Register online for either a food manager or food handler class
  2. 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: food manager: $79.81 / food handler: $11.40 / optional exam: $57.01.
    (As of Jan. 1, 2019, fees are: food manager: $81.71 / food handler: $11.67 / optional exam: $87.55).
  • Pay online: After submitting the online registration form, 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