Health and Human Services

Bureau of Consumer Health Services

The City of Houston is proposing changes to Chapter 20 of the City Code of Ordinances. Most changes are included to be consistent with the recently published 2013 Food Code.  The Department of Health and Human Services would like comments from stakeholders to be emailed to  


New: Proposed changes to the Houston Food Ordinance July 2014


The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) Bureau of Consumer Health Services’ role is to effectively utilize the available resources to protect the community by administering the public health ordinance of the City of Houston and the state of Texas toward the prevention of disease, disability, and death resulting from food borne and water borne illness and swimming-pool-drowning through enforcement and education.

Charitable food service information


Feeding the Homeless Ordinance

City of Houston, Texas, Ordinance No. 2012-269 - an ordinance amending chapter 20 of the code of ordinances, Houston, Texas, relating to feeding those in need; containing findings and other provisions relating to the foregoing subject; providing for severability; and declaring an emergency. – full text in pdf file here



Register Online – Food Service Manager Certification  Classes

goes to a link to report foodborne illness goes to a page where you can make a complaint on a food establishment make a complaint on special waste: transporter generator or sewer overflow on this form link to complaint form to file complaint about commercial or residential pool Programs

Consumer Health Contacts

Fee Information



Plan review fees update

“In accordance with Chapter 20-25(e) of the City of Houston Code of Ordinances, the Department of Health and Human Services will begin assessing a separate plan review fee for all plan submittals received on or after January 1, 2013. This  fee applies only to food establishments.  Projects submitted prior to January 1 are not subject to this fee. This fee will be based on valuation of the project.  For questions or concerns please contact David McCoy at 832-394-9462 or”

Food Inspection and Safety
Disasters and Emergency Management
Food Establishment Inspection Reports
Food Inspections
Food Managers Certification Classes
Forms and Documents
Frequently Asked Questions
Hot Topics
Links of Interest

Mobile Food Units
Opening a Food Establishment
Searchable Code of Ordinances - Chapter 20 - FOOD AND DRUGS
Temporary Food Establishments
Temporary Food Establishments Fee Schedule 2014    

dog on patio

Dog-Friendly Dining Options on Patios - Effective, September 22, 2011, owners of restaurants and other food establishments may apply for a variance to Section 20-21.28 (f) (1) of the Houston Food Ordinance to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas. Owners desiring to permit dogs on patios must make application on a form provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and comply with the conditions of the variance-- including an inspection of the outdoor premises prior to approval of the application. Link to Request Variance-Exemption Dogs on Patios. Applicants must also pay a one-time pre-inspection fee of $117.75. Additionally, they must agree to comply with the sanitation requirements listed on the variance application to ensure that no health hazard or nuisance will occur. Application for the variance is strictly voluntary. Food establishment owners are not mandated by ordinance to allow dogs on patios. For information, please call 832-393-5100.

Food Establishments with HDHHS Approved Dog Patios

Special Waste

Generator (Grease trap, Grit trap, Lint trap, and other city regulated waste generators) 
Service Companies (transporters, biological pretreatment, and pressure washers)

Swimming Pools


Contact Us:

Food Safety and Pools:

Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Bureau of Consumer Health Services
8000 N. Stadium Dr., 2nd Floor
Houston, TX 77054
Phone: 832-393-5100
Fax: 832-393-5208

Special Waste:

Houston Department of Health and Human Services
Bureau of Consumer Health Services
7411 Park Place Blvd Houston, TX 77087
Phone: 832-393-5740
Fax: 832-393-5706


The information contained in this site was valid at the time of posting. HDHHS assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies. Moreover, HDHHS is not responsible for the content nor endorses any site which has a link from this site. For additional information, please review the City of Houston web site Privacy Policy page.