Food Sample Permit

A Food Sample permit is an annual permit that allows cottage food businesses and licensed food manufacturers to provide customers with a sample of the pre-packaged foods the vendor is offering for sale and allows food manufacturers to sell pre-packaged temperature controlled foods at Temporary Events or Farmers’ Markets in Harris County. The sample of food must be prepared at the temporary event or farmers’ market following the Food Sample Operational Requirements.

To obtain a Food Sample permit, the vendor must follow these Plan Review steps:

  1. Submit to the EPH office:
  2. Plan Review Conference Appointment - EPH will call within five (5) business days to schedule the plan review appointment. This appointment is held over the phone. The application and operational statement will be reviewed to determine compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. During the call, the plan reviewer will discuss the documents that need to be submitted to EPH before the pre-opening inspection can be scheduled. This step can be expedited*. 
     
  3. Document Submittal - All documents (if required) must be submitted together and include the establishment number on all correspondence. 
     
  4. Pre-Opening Inspection - A request must be made to EPH for a pre-opening inspection to occur at the next event in Harris County the sampler will operate at. The request must be made five (5) days prior to the desired inspection date. A re-inspection fee will be charged if the sampler does not pass the pre-opening inspection. 

*EXPEDITE FEE: the indicated steps can be expedited with payment of the expedite fee. Contact Plan Review for eligibility. 

Food Sample permits are renewed at an event during routine operation.