Full Statute Name:  Vernon's Texas Statutes and Codes Annotated. Health and Safety Code. Title 6. Food, Drugs, Alcohol, and Hazardous Substances. Subtitle A. Food and Drug Health Regulations. Chapter 437. Regulation of Food Service Establishments, Retail Food Stores, Mobile Food Units, and Roadside Food Vendors. § 437.025. Requirements for Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas; Municipal Preemption

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Primary Citation:  V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 437.025 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  March, 2020 Alternate Citation:  TX HEALTH & S § 437.025 Date Adopted:  2019 Historical: 
Summary: This Texas law from 2019 allows food establishments to permit customers to have dogs in outdoor dining areas under certain conditions. Among other things, the restaurant must post a conspicuous sign informing patrons that dogs are permitted, create access so dogs do not enter the interior of the restaurant, require customers to keep dogs on leashes and off tables and chairs, and make sure there is no food preparation in the dog-friendly dining area. A municipality may not adopt or enforce an ordinance, rule, or similar measure that imposes a requirement on a food service establishment for a dog in an outdoor dining area that is more stringent than the requirements listed in the statute.

(a) A food service establishment may permit a customer to be accompanied by a dog in an outdoor dining area if:

(1) the establishment posts a sign in a conspicuous location in the area stating that dogs are permitted;

(2) the customer and dog access the area directly from the exterior of the establishment;

(3) the dog does not enter the interior of the establishment;

(4) the customer keeps the dog on a leash and controls the dog;

(5) the customer does not allow the dog on a seat, table, countertop, or similar surface; and

(6) in the area, the establishment does not:

(A) prepare food; or

(B) permit open food other than food that is being served to a customer.

(b) A municipality may not adopt or enforce an ordinance, rule, or similar measure that imposes a requirement on a food service establishment for a dog in an outdoor dining area that is more stringent than the requirements described by Subsection (a).

(c) The requirements described by Subsection (a) do not apply to a service animal, as defined by Section 437.023(c).

Credits
Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., ch. 423 (S.B. 476), § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2019.

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