Environmental Health Section
This Section serves as an information center for the public educating and enforcing ordinances pertaining to health standards. Environmental Health promotes health and aids in the prevention of disease through inspection and investigation of sanitary conditions primarily associated with food establishments, childcare facilities, and public swimming pools and spas. Knowledge gained from these inspections and investigations is used to develop preventive practices and procedures.
The Environmental Health Inspector works closely with the Webster Fire Marshal's office, as well as the Building Department Inspectors, to provide life safety inspections for enforcement of guidelines to correct any hazardous circumstances or violations that would cause a threat to life and property.
The Texas Department of State Health Services Division of Regulatory Service, Texas Food Establishment Rules 25 TAC 228 2015 are the regulations followed by the City of Webster.
The Environmental Health Inspector routinely inspects and provides annual permitting of food service establishments in the City of Webster. The purpose of this program is to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission through food by educating food service operators on proper food handling procedures and practices.
A Food Establishment is an operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, or otherwise provides food for human consumption.
A Mobile Food Unit (MFU) is a vehicle mounted, self or otherwise propelled, self-contained food service operation, designed to be readily movable (including, but not limited to catering trucks, trailers, push carts, and roadside vendors) and used to store, prepare, display, serve or sell food. Mobile units must completely retain their mobility at all times. A Mobile Food Unit does not mean a stand or a booth. A roadside vendor is classified as a MFU.
A Temporary Food Service Operation is a food establishment that operates for no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with a single event or celebration.
Opening a Food Establishment in the City of Webster:
Plans drawn to scale, blueprints or contractor's drawings, for new construction or renovation of any existing structure, must be submitted to the Building Department for approval. Plans should show the layout (identifying equipment and providing an equipment list), arrangement and construction material of the entire proposed food service establishment operations, including food preparation, storage and service areas, dining areas and outside garbage storage areas.
Guidelines for Food Establishment Operators
The following information is presented as a guideline only to outline the primary requirements for a food establishment in the City of Webster. Specific needs should be discussed with the Environmental Health Inspector.
- Conveniently located refrigeration facilities shall be provided to assure the maintenance and proper storage of all potentially hazardous food.
- Conveniently located hot food storage facilities shall be provided to assure the maintenance of food at the required temperature.
- Conveniently located hand wash sinks for proper hand washing by employees, shall be installed in kitchen preparation areas and dish wash area.
- A three (3) - compartment sink shall be used for washing, rinsing and sanitizing of utensils and equipment. Sinks shall be large enough to allow the complete immersion of the utensils and equipment.
- Drain boards or easily movable dish tables for proper handling of soiled utensils and cleaned utensils following sanitation shall be provided at the three (3)-compartment sink and/or dishwashing machine.
- Plumbing shall be sized, installed, and maintained according to law.
- The potable water system shall be installed to preclude the possibility of back-flow.
- Grease trap, shall be located outside the building in a location to be easily accessible for cleaning.
- Floor and floor coverings of all food preparation, food storage, and utensil-washing areas, and the floors of all walk-in refrigerating units, dressing rooms, locker rooms, toilet rooms and vestibules shall be constructed of smooth durable material such as sealed concrete, terrazzo, ceramic tile, durable grades of linoleum or plastic, and shall be maintained in good repair.
- The walls, including non-supporting partitions, wall coverings, and ceilings of walk-in refrigerating units, food preparations areas, food storage areas, equipment-washing and utensil-washing areas, toilet rooms and vestibules shall be light-colored, smooth, nonabsorbent, and easily cleanable.
- Studs, joists, and rafters shall not be exposed in: walk-in refrigerating units, food preparation areas, food storage areas, equipment and utensil-washing areas, toilet rooms or vestibules. Utility service lines and pipes shall not be unnecessarily exposed on walls or ceilings in these areas.
- A utility/mop sink or curbed cleaning facility with a floor drain shall be provided and used for cleaning of mops or similar wet floor cleaning tools and for the disposal of mop water or similar liquid wastes.
- No person may operate a food establishment without a valid/current Food Dealer's Permit.
- Permits are not transferable from one place to another.
- Permits shall be posted in the view of the public.
- Permits shall be renewed on an annual basis.
Food Managers Certification/Food Handlers Certification
- A Certified Food Manager shall be on duty at all times. All staff handling or preparing food shall obtain food handlers certification by September 1, 2016.
- The Food Manager Certification shall be posted on the wall. Food handler certifications shall be kept on file at the establishment.