The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission states that anyone who “sells, serves, dispenses, or delivers alcoholic beverages under the authority of a license or permit, including persons who immediately manage, direct, supervise, or control the sale or service of alcoholic beverages” is required to complete TABC certification for food safety. If you sell or serve alcohol and are also a food handler in Texas, you require both TABC and food handler’s certification in order to legally serve food and alcohol in your state.
TABC and food handler certification ensures that servers, bartenders, cashiers or anyone else selling, or serving alcohol or food are fully trained to meet health and safety standards TABC certification trains servers how to identify minors and prevent sales to minors. Food handler certification ensures that people who are serving, handling and preparing food using proper food handling techniques. The certificate also trains food handlers how to properly prepare and store food.
While those selling and serving alcohol are responsible for ensuring they are not selling to minors or the already intoxicated, food handlers are responsible for following safety and health standards while cooking, serving, preparing, and storing food. Because food handling and alcohol serving usually go hand-in-hand in restaurant atmospheres, many employees require both TABC and food handlers certification in order to serve patrons and consumers.
Both TABC certification and food handler certification courses are required by most employers to serve alcohol or food in the state of Texas. Most courses allow you to complete them at your own pace and are generally simple to pass if you follow along with the course material.
Because many jobs entail serving and selling both food and alcohol, there are package deals available online which combine both TABC and food handlers certification for a server who requires both. If you are interested in getting your TABC and food handlers certification, you may have questions about the certification process, how to get it, if you are obligated to get the certification, how long the certification takes, and more.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about TABC and food handler certifications and have answered them to help anyone who is either in the process of or is interested in acquiring their TABC and food handlers certification.
What is TABC?
TABC, which stands for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, is responsible for regulating and certifying sellers and servers of alcohol. TABC certification is proof that a seller or server has completed the TABC certification program and that he or she has been certified to sell alcoholic beverages in Texas.
What is food handler certification?
Food handler certification courses provide training to those serving, selling, and preparing food. This training also provides food handlers with safety information and regulations about how to handle food as regulated by their government.
Who needs to get a food handler card or certificate?
Anyone working with food, food equipment, unpackaged food, or food contact surfaces is required to obtain a food handler card or certificate.
How do I know if I need my TABC and food handler’s certification?
In most cases, your employer will advise you of any certifications required for your employment.
How do I get TABC and food handlers certification?
There are many different online training courses approved by the TABC that provide training and examination for TABC and food handler’s certification. Most offer them in combined packages.
Who can get TABC and food handlers certification?
Anyone, regardless of age, can get TABC and food handlers certification; however, a server must be at least 18 years old to sell or serve alcohol at a bar or restaurant. To serve alcohol in liquor stores, you must be at least 21 years of age. You must also have a valid Social Security Number, Work Permit Number, or IRS Tax Number.
How often do I have to renew by TABC or food handlers certification?
Both the Texas food handler certification course and the TABC certification course must be taken once every two years.
How long does a TABC or food handler’s certification course take to complete?
The TABC states that all online certification courses must be a minimum two hours long; however, most courses allow users to complete the certification at their own pace.
How much does certification cost?
Fees for courses are not regulated by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and are generally inexpensive. Courses range from $7 to $20, depending on whether a user does an individual or combined package.
Can I do the certification on my computer or phone?
Most courses are available online through a computer or mobile device, but it is best to check with the course administrator first.
What are the benefits of getting my TABC and food handler’s certification?
A TABC and food handler’s certificate makes an applicant much more employable, as employers will likely see it as a leg up above other applicants. In any case, most employers that sell or serve alcohol and food require mandatory completion of both certifications.
How long will the exam take?
Most exam allotment times are two hours. Although you can complete a certification course at your own pace, once the exam starts you are required to finish it in one entire sitting.
Our Final Tips
TABC and food handlers certification is required by most employers who sell, serve, or deal with alcohol and/or food. Most TABC and food handler certification courses are self-paced and simple. To get the best value, it is recommended that you take a combined TABC certification and food handler course package, which combines the TABC certification with a TX DSHS approved food handler course for a discounted price. Complete the certification at your own pace, all for a low price.
Some final reminders to remember the courses and final exam include:
Getting your TABC and food handlers certification is pretty simple. As long as you stay focused and pace yourself throughout your course, you will pass with flying colors and be employable in the Texas market in no time!