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Salvage Brokers and Establishments

Salvage brokers and establishments routinely handle distressed merchandise. Distressed merchandise refers to any food, drug, device or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded under the Texas Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and includes merchandise that:

  • Has lost its label or is otherwise unidentified
  • Has been subjected to prolonged or improper storage
  • Has been subjected for any reason to abnormal environmental conditions, including temperature extremes, humidity, smoke, water, fumes, pressure, or radiation
  • Has been subjected to conditions that result in either its strength, purity, or quality falling below that which it purports or is represented to possess; or
  • May have been rendered unsafe or unsuitable for human consumption or use for any other reason

The Foods Group and Drugs and Medical Devices Group are responsible for ensuring that salvage brokers, salvage establishments and salvage warehouses comply with minimum licensing standards established to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Texas. In order to accomplish this objective, inspections of these facilities are conducted in accordance with state law, using risk-based inspection criteria. If voluntary compliance with the licensing standards cannot be achieved, the Groups recommend regulatory actions when necessary. In addition, the Groups provide technical assistance to their licensees, answer inquiries from consumers and investigate complaints involving possible violations of the state requirements for acting as a salvage broker or operating a salvage establishment or salvage warehouse.


We require any business that is operating as a salvage broker (i.e., a person who engages in the selling, distributing, or otherwise trafficking in distressed or salvaged merchandise, but who does not operate a salvage establishment) or salvage establishment (i.e., a place of business that is engaged in reconditioning or otherwise salvaging distressed merchandise, or that buys, sells, or distributes salvaged merchandise for human use) to be licensed with the Department of State Health Services. In addition, a person who acts as a salvage broker or who operates a salvage establishment outside this state may sell, distribute, or otherwise traffic in distressed or salvaged merchandise in Texas if the person holds a license issued by the Department. Certain licensing exemptions apply. Please see the applications and forms page for more information on how to become licensed.

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Contact Information

For Food Salvaging Program Assistance

Email: Foods Group
Phone: (512) 834-6670
Fax: (512) 834-6681

For Drug, Device and Cosmetic Salvaging Program Assistance

Email: Drugs and Medical Devices Group
Phone: (512) 834-6755
Fax: (512) 834-6759

For Licensing Assistance

Email: Drugs and Food Safety Licensing Group
Phone: (512) 834-6727
Fax: (512) 834-6741

Mailing addresses may be found on the contact page.

Last updated May 29, 2020