TABC Relaxes Food and Beverage Certificate Requirements During Emergency Meeting on 8-25

On August 25, 2020, The TABC held an emergency commissioner’s meeting and approved amendments to its food and beverage certificate rules (TABC Rule 33.5) that will allow businesses without kitchens to qualify for a food and beverage certificate and thereby open for dine-in services under Governor Abbott’s June 26th Executive Order GA-28.

cozy bar and restaurant

Food and Beverage Certificate (FB) Qualifications

In additional to other requirements, a business with a TABC permit qualifies for a Food and Beverage Certificate (FB) if:

  1. Multiple entrees are available to customers; and
  2. Permanent food service facilities are maintained at the location.

The amendments to TABC Rule 33.5, effective immediately, expand the definition of “food service” to include not only cooking and assembling food, but also preparing and serving food, and also allows commercially pre-packaged items purchased off-site to count as “food service.”

Further, the TABC eliminated the prior requirement that a business have commercial cooking equipment at the location in order to comply with the food service facilities definition in 33.5(f). This means that businesses will only have to designate a portion of the premises where food is stored/and or prepared for consumption at the premises, and will not have to invest in costly commercial cooking equipment to qualify for an FB.

If your business is closed due to currently being defined as a bar under GA-28, I recommend that you immediately apply for a food and beverage certificate so that you can open your doors for dine-in services while GA-28 is still in effect.

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