Restaurant Resources

Food News and Resources

This page is dedicated to everything Restaurant and Food Service. It is the goal of Environmental Services to help the local food establishments educate themselves and all of their staff with increased knowledge and practices for food handling and food safety by increasing information and communication.

Environmental Services may periodically publish a newsletter, THE HEALTHY SPOON, and post it on this website. The newsletter is intended to be a means to educate food staff on how inspections are conducted in Rowlett, how certain food codes are interpreted, and to address certain violations that seem to be on the rise. In addition, there may be articles relevant to foodborne illness pathogens. If there is a topic you would like to see addressed in the news letter, please feel free to email Environmental Services Manager Chuck Dumas.

The Resource Center contains links to The Texas Food Establishment Regulations (TFER) and many other food safety and food inspection documents. Environmental Services will also post the Food Establishment Construction Guidelines and any other relevant documents here.

Again, the goal is to increase the communication with our local food vendors in hopes of helping all to be a successful member of our Rowlett!

NEWS YOU CAN USE...

* A key item that has been recently requested is the yearly process. The City operates on a Fiscal Calendar which runs October 1 - September 30 annually. For example: Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) begins October 1, 2017 and ends September 30, 2018. Food establishments are inspected routinely either once or twice per fiscal year. Any establishment being inspected twice will be inspected at least once by March 31 and again before October 1. If the second inspection was conducted in June, July, September and the new fiscal year starts over in October, an establishment could possibly receive the first routine inspection of that year in October or as late as March.

An establishment receiving an inspection in January and again in June and again in November had the following: 1 inspection in first half of year, 1 inspection second half of year, and the first inspection of next fiscal year...

Food establishments can be inspected more than the minimum frequencies. Establishments scoring lower than 80 on a routine inspection will be re-inspected within 30 days and receive an updated score. This does not count as the second inspection of the year. If an establishment scores below 70 on a routine inspection, they will receive a full re-inspection within 10 days and receive an new score.

Health staff are available for questions and if time allows, for site visits to help with your questions. Please don't hesitate to contact our office.

Some helpful hints when talking to Health staff..

* Be clear in what you are asking

* Listen to what the answers are. Ask them to repeat or demonstrate

* Be open and honest with your answers. Most health staff have been around for some time and are pretty experienced with most food service processes.

*Help the inspector out. Have your paperwork items ready to go.

*If you do not understand something, Please ASK!

*Remember- Health inspectors are doing their job. It is their job to step on your toes if things aren't being done properly and safely. There is a responsibility to the restaurant, the customers, the citizens, and the city and our Rowlett staff are driven to be the best and do the best they can!

Lastly, it has been observed that there is some confusion as to the process for food delivery, occupying the building for business/training, and full operations. When opening a new establishment, owners must be sure they have satisfied ALL Building, Fire, and Health construction requirements AND obtained their Certificate of Occupancy and Health Permit PRIOR to having ANY food items delivered or stocked. No training, cooking, etc. may occur within the building until these conditions are met. All other Health construction requirements are noted in the Construction Standards found in the link below.

Resource Center

Below are a list of links relevant to food inspections and food safety. Check back often for updates, clarifications, additional resources, or other useful miscellaneous materials.

State:
Current Adopted Food Code 2015 (PDF)
Food inspection form (PDF) (Rowlett has modified our form for iPad but contains the same material)
Food Inspection Quick Reference Guide (PDF)

Rowlett:
Food Construction Standards (PDF)
Grease Trap Requirements (PDF)

Food Safety:
Cross contamination (PDF)
Cooling methods fact sheet (PDF)
Thawing foods (PDF)
Safe temperatures (PDF)
Reheating foods (PDF)

Preventing contamination from hands (PDF)
Bare hand food contact (PDF)
Double hand washing (PDF)