The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer a Food Handler’s Certification Training webinar on Nov. 3, with a special focus on honey production.

The class is a basic overview of food safety practices necessary to ensure serving and selling safe food products and will have an emphasis on honey. Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate valid for two years will be issued.

The cost is $20. Registration is required at The event will start at 6:30 p.m.

“I wanted to offer this course in conjunction with the beekeeping series I teach,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist for Bexar County. “There isn’t a food handler’s certification course just specifically for honey production, but this will cover what a regular certification class would in addition to honey-related topics.”

State health requirements

The Texas Department of State Health Services now requires cottage food operators to have the certification to sell most honey, Keck said.

“In the past few years, TDSHS recategorized the way people fall in regard to honey sales,” she said. “And one of those is that if you add flavoring to the honey, you are a cottage food operator who must have a food handler’s license.”

Keck said it is quite common for producers to add cinnamon, orange or other spices to honey. She added that a certification is also required if you add someone else’s honey to yours.

Keck said the TDSHS also recommends beekeeper honey producers selling their own raw honey to have a food handler’s certification, but it is not required.

Food handlers online training topics

The certification course will be taught by Angie Gutierrez, AgriLife Extension family and community health agent, San Antonio.

Keck will provide input on how the topics relate to honey and how sellers can determine what category they fall under.

Guiterrez will cover:

  • Good Personal Hygiene.
  • Cross Contamination.
  • Time and Temperature Abuse.

Contact Gutierrez at [email protected] or 210-631-0400 for additional information or with questions.

Susan Himes
Susan Himes is a writer and media relations specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife. She writes news releases and features from science-based information generated by the agency. She also covers human interest stories and events across the state.