Food Protection ProgramA valid Northeast Texas Food Establishment Permit is required prior to opening and operating a food establishment in Smith County.
Buying A Restaurant? New Or Existing Food Establishment? - Guidelines For New Or Remodeled Food EstablishmentsThese guidelines are provided to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding permit requirements for new or remodeled food establishments. Please contact the Northeast Texas Public Health District Environmental Health Department at 903-535-0037 or environmentalhealth@NETPHD.org.
SECTION I: Plans And Permit Applications
Before construction and remodeling of a fixed facility begins, you must submit a Plan Review and Preliminary Inspection Application. The application must be completed and submitted with a floor plan, identifying fixtures and equipment layout, room finish schedule, location of floor and hub drains (floor sinks), e.t.c.
SECTION II: Construction of the BuildingFLOORS. In food/beverage preparation areas, storage areas, utensil-washing areas, all walk-in refrigeration units, and restrooms, floors must be constructed of smooth durable material that is cleanable and impervious to liquids. Examples include terrazo, ceramic or quarry tile. Surfaces shall be maintained in good repair. If trapped floor drains are used the floor must graded to the trapped floor drains.
WALLS. In food/beverage handling and preparation areas, utensil washing areas and restrooms, sheetrock or similar type walls are to be covered with rigid, high density, non-absorbent, smooth, light in color, easily cleanable material such as fiberglass reinforced plastic panels, ceramic or quarry tile, stainless steel, etc. Minimum height is eight (8) feet. Walls in dry storage areas only may be painted with oil-based enamel or epoxy paint. Areas constructed of smooth brick, concrete, block, or similar masonry may be sealed with epoxy paint.
CEILINGS. Construct the ceiling of a smooth, non-absorbent and easily cleanable material or t-type lay-in acoustical tiles. Ceiling must be light in color in the kitchen, dish wash areas, over bar, in wait stations or storerooms.
RESTROOMS. At least one restroom is required for employee use. When four or more employees of different sex are employed, two or more restrooms are required. Two public restrooms are required with on-premise food consumption.
FLOOR DRAINS. A minimum of three-inch diameter floor drain is required in the food preparation areas, kitchen, bar and all restrooms.
SECTION III. Minimum Sink RequirementsHAND WASH SINK. Must be located in food preparation and utensil washing areas.
UTILITY SINK. A curbed area with a trapped floor drain or stainless steel utility sink on bullet legs is required in all food establishments.
SINKS FOR SANITIZING FOOD EQUIPMENT. A three (3) Compartment sink on bullet legs with both drainboards and an indirect connection to the sewer is required. If a dishmachine is needed it must be a commercial dishwasher capable of heat or chemical sanitation parameters. All spray hoses shall be properly installed with approved vacuum breakers.
VEGETABLE/FRESH FRUIT PREPARATION SINK. Scrap sinks, pre-rinse or additional pot washing sinks may be required. At least one (1) drainboard is required on sinks of this nature with an indirect connection to the sewer. All spray hoses shall be properly installed with approved vacuum breakers.
SECTION IV. Equipment InstallationEQUIPMENT. Equipment must in good repair and designed to be easily cleanable. Direct food contact surfaces must be food grade materials. Adequate space should be provided between walls and fixtures or equipment to permit access for cleaning. No food preparation or storage equipment is allowed to be installed under open stairwells or exposed sewer lines.
EQUIPMENT AND UTENSILS. Equipment and utensils must be designed and fabricated for durability under conditions of normal use and must be resistant to denting, buckling, pitting and chipping.
AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT. Such as water heater, remote refrigerators, compressor, or air conditioner, may not be located in food preparation or utensil washing areas.
GREASE TRAPS. Grease Trap should be located outside the facility, and serving all sinks, dishwashers, and floor drains in food preparation areas.
VENTED HOODS. Must have removable filters and located over all cooking surfaces.
Domestic refrigerators, dishwashers, freezers or ranges are not approved for use in commercial food establishments.
FOOD CONTACT SURFACES. Must be impervious to liquids, must not be painted, must be of non-corrosive materials and be accessible for cleaning and inspection.
Additional detailed requirements are covered in the Texas Food Establishment Rules, Texas Department of Health and the Northeast Texas Public Health District Order 2010-1. Please contact the NETPHD at 903-535-0037 or environmentalhealth@NETPHD.org. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
If you are planning on buying a pre-existing food establishment it is best to contact the Health District before purchase. There may be wall and floor finishes and equipment that do not meet the current health codes and will have to be changed in order to comply. Also, the restrooms will have to meet all applicable codes. Call the Health District and set an appointment with a Plan Review Specialist then you will know beforehand what will be required before you are ready to open to the public.