Austin Public Health and Travis County Health and Human Services would like to inform all of our stakeholders and partners of changes being made by the Environmental Health Services Division. These changes will impact food safety inspection frequency and therefore also impact the cost of providing this service through annual permitting fees.

Consistent with many cities and counties in Texas and the United States, Travis County has adopted the Food and Drug Administration's risk based inspection scheduling system known as the Inspection Frequency Standard (IFS). IFS is a regulatory best practice and a requirement to meet the FDA's Retail Food Safety Voluntary Standards. Under IFS, all establishments are reviewed and assessed a risk category based on the complexity of food processes, control measures used to reduce the risk of food borne illness, and inspection history.

Under IFS, high risk establishments are inspected three (3) times per year; medium risk establishments are inspected two (2) times per year; and low risk establishments are inspected once (1) per year.

In addition, Travis County’s IFS program will include an incentive approach which reduces the number of inspections for consistently high scoring establishments (24 month average of 90 or greater), while increasing the number of inspections for consistently low scoring establishments (24 month average of below 80).

We strongly believe that this best practice approach to food safety inspections will result in better protection of public health and a reduction in overall food borne illnesses.

In conjunction with the changes regarding IFS, there will be fee changes to correspond to the new inspection frequency. We have updated the Fees Table (copy attached); the new fees are based on both the risk level and the size of the food establishment.

These changes to the risk based inspection frequency standard and the associated fee schedule changes will take effect on April 1, 2019.

We appreciate this opportunity to work with you to better protect consumer health. Should you have questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the Environmental Health Services Division at (512) 978-0300.

See the Full Fee Schedule taking effect on April 1, 2019 and visit Austin Public Health's Environmental Health Services page.