Health Permits and Inspections

The Environmental Health Department focuses on public health by identifying and correcting conditions in the environment that may cause disease or disease outbreaks.  This is accomplished primarily by performing inspections. To be effective in accomplishing our mission, Environmental Health uses several methods to prevent illness and unsanitary conditions.  These approaches may include education, advisement, consultation, regulation, investigation and enforcement.  

Health Permits

A person may not operate a food establishment without a health permit issued by the City of Cleburne Environmental Health Department. Permits are not transferable from one person to another or from one location to another location. A valid permit must be posted in or on every food establishment.

Temporary Health Permits 

A temporary Health permit is required for all food events held from one to three consecutive days. Each vendor must obtain their own permit for each booth and each event.

Mobile Vendor Permits

Any person operating a mobile food unit must obtain a health permit from the Environmental Health Department. A mobile vendor may only operate for three consecutive days in the same location. Mobile vendors may only set on commercial property with the property owner’s permission. All mobile units must be inspected prior to operation and issuance of the Health Permit.


Inspections of food facilities include full service restaurants, fast food, grocery stores, convenience stores and temporary events. These inspections are done routinely and on a complaint basis to ensure compliance with the city food ordinance and state regulations. Seasonal and temporary inspections include Spring Fest, Antique Alley, carnivals /circus, and any other holidays or events. We also conduct routine inspections on mobile vendors such as hot trucks, ice cream trucks, and push carts.

Certified Food Protection Manager

Every food establishment must have at least one certified food protection manager at each location, who is responsible for supervising food preparation and service. Food protection management training certificates are obtained by successfully completing a Texas Department of State Health Services-accredited Food Protection Management Training Program. Contact the City Environmental Health Department for the next scheduled class.

Plan Review

All new or remodeled food establishments are required to submit plans to be reviewed for compliance with health code regulations. (New & Remodel Construction Requirements) As a part of this process, construction or structural design inspections are performed. All facilities must follow through with this process and complete all preliminary inspections before a health permit to operate can be issued. In addition to the health permit, a certificate of occupancy is also required. The certificate of occupancy can be obtained through the Building Inspection Department, which is located at City Hall, 10 North Robinson.

Change of Ownership

When an existing food establishment changes ownership, the new owner must obtain a new certificate of occupancy and a new health permit in the name of the new owner. Contact the Environmental Health Department in order to obtain a health permit. The new owner must complete the application and pay the required change of ownership fee, plus the annual permit fee. The Environmental Health Department will conduct an inspection of the facility and list the deficiencies that need correction. If no serious defects are noted at this time, the permit will be issued. Permit fees are not refundable or transferable.

Day Cares

All day cares / pre-schools operating within the City of Cleburne must: 

  • Be located within a commercial zone or obtain a specific use permit in accordance with the zoning ordinance
  • Contact the Planning and Zoning Department to verify zoning
  • Submit engineered drawings to the Building department for review from Building, Fire and Health departments prior to pulling any permits.  
  • Obtain a certificate of occupancy from the Building Inspections Department
  • Obtain a health permit from the Environmental Health Department
  • Obtain a State license with the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services

Public School Inspection Program

All public school food service areas are inspected twice a year. Inspections include the cafeteria, culinary school and concession stands. 

Swimming Pool Inspection Program

We inspect all commercial and public pools such as apartments, hotel/motels, fitness clubs, Home owners associations and city pools to ensure compliance with the Texas Department of Health Standards for swimming pools  and spas as well as Chapter 757 Health & Safety code. This also includes Interactive Water Features and Splash pads. Swimming pools, spas and Public Interactive Water features are often the source of water borne illness outbreaks.