EnviroConnections - September 2014

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

ESD Large

September 2014


About Us

Maricopa County Environmental Services provides essential, regional environmental services seeking to prevent and remove environmental health risks. The Department’s Environmental Health Specialists and Field Technicians are in the community every day making sure that among other things, food in all the eating and drinking establishments in the County is protected from contamination, that water supplies throughout the County are safe to drink, and that vector borne health illnesses and risks are minimized. It is our belief that with continued support, future generations will reap the benefits of today’s actions.


Contact Us

Central & Roosevelt

Environmental Services Department

Adminstration Building (Map)
1001 N. Central Ave. Suite 401
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 506-6616

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m

Monday thru Friday

(Excluding Holidays



Need assistance en Español or in 中文 for your food related business?


Nuestros representantes o enlaces para negocios hispanos de venta de alimentos están disponibles para asistirles entendiendo las necesidades culturales de su negocio y asistiéndoles en su idioma.


Do you need to make sure that your ethnic foods meet Maricopa County Health Code standards? Our language liaisons are available to assist you!

Chinese Words


Llámenos hoy! Call us today:

(602) 506-3408


MCESD Environmental Health Division Office Locations:

Central Regional Office (Map)
1001 N. Central Ave. Suite 301
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 506-6272

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)

Eastern Regional Office (Map)
1255 W. Baseline Rd. Suite 266
Mesa, AZ 85202
Phone: (480) 820-7655

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)

Northern Regional Office (Map)
15023 N. 75th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone: (480) 483-4703

8:00 a.m. - 12:00p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)

Western Regional Office (Map)
16140 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr., Suite #105
Peoria, AZ 85382
Phone: (623) 939-5788

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)

Mobile Food Office (Map)
1645 E. Roosevelt
Phoenix, AZ 85006
Phone: (602) 506-6872

8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Monday thru Friday
(Excluding Holidays)


Need a Food Service Worker Card?

Food Service Worker

Visit Maricopa County Environmental Services Department Web site (or Click on Sample Card Image shown above) to obtain all the information you need at your fingertips!.


Stay Connected with ESD


Thank you for staying connected with EnviroConnections by Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.
This newsletter will be available quarterly and on special occasions. Get all the issues! If you are not yet subscribed, you can sign up now and  Bookmark and Share this with a friend.

Stakeholders' menu of recommendations already being served by County

Task Force

Following the recommendations of a regulatory reform task force, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors revamped the rules on restaurant inspections, hoping to make them more consistent and efficient. 

“This is about the county becoming a better business partner,” County Manager Tom Manos said, explaining the three-month review involving restaurant stakeholders and the county Environmental Services Department officials. 

The recommendations which are already being implemented are aimed at expanding the county’s Cutting Edge program.  This program helps operators with gaining more “Active Managerial Control” in their establishments and creates a preventive rather than reactive approach to food safety, allowing inspectors to focus on the establishments that might pose greater health risks. 

Task Force 2

The revisions are also helping enhance cooperative relationships in the inspection process by building more rapport and encouraging communication among inspectors and food business operators. Under one recommendation ‘in the works’, Environmental Services would delay inspection results from being posted immediately online. This would give the operators time to clarify the findings of the report. Reports would be posted after three business days. 

Officials were pleased with the recommendations and also appreciative of the owners and operators who volunteered their time to serve on the task force. Board Chairman Denny Barney encouraged county workers to follow the goals and vision of the task force. “This is truly going to have a positive impact on the community.” 

Environmental Services Director John Kolman said: “We respect the directive issued by the Board of Supervisors and the hard work performed thus far by the task force members. The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department is committed to the process and will continue to strengthen collaborative efforts with the industry and prioritize food safety for the public.”

Back to Top


Standards Committee Meetings, a Recipe for Your Success

By: Michelle Chester, RS Training Officer, Quality & Compliance Division


The large majority of the inspections conducted by the Environmental Health Division is spent on food inspections – restaurants, retail, schools, hospitals, jails, mobile food units, special events, etc. The division, as a whole, strives to provide consistency to over 23,000 food permits with approximately 100 inspectors and field supervisors conducting inspections.

The Environmental Health Division, along with the training officers in the Quality and Compliance Division, have developed a Standards Committee to discuss the FDA Food Code questions brought forth by staff and industry, as well as a uniform approach to enforcing the code.

The committee is currently made up of the training officer and supervisor, both of whom are FDA standards (are evaluated in the field conducting inspections based on their knowledge of the FDA code and communication tactics with operators). The training officer and supervisor are then tasked with standardizing all of our field supervisors in the same manner.  These employees, also known as “standards”, then come together on a quarterly basis to review any code questions that may have risen at the regional offices (by both employees and industry).


They also discuss any new procedures that may have been seen in the field, new processes, new equipment, etc. At this time, all applicable codes are referenced, Division polices are reviewed, and any supporting documentation is reviewed. The team works on a decision collaboratively and determines, by consensus, how the decision will be addressed by the division. If the issue cannot be resolved, the committee will seek guidance from the FDA, USDA, Division Manager, or Department Director.

Once decisions are made, each group of supervisors takes the meeting minutes back to their offices and educates their staff. This is used to help provide more consistency at the regional offices for all staff.

These meetings have now been opened up for stakeholders to attend. Review the agenda each quarter for any topics of interest and attend the meeting. We look forward to working with you as partners in food safety.

Back to Top


'What's Cooking' in the Standards Committee Meeting?


Find out what topics and questions related to the Maricopa County Environmental Health Code are being discussed in future Standards Committee Meetings. It's simple, subscribe if you would like to receive future agendas directly to your Inbox! Or visit Maricopa.gov scroll down the page and Click on the County News Delivered to Your Inbox Icon and follow the instructions to subscribe to this and other department and County news items. The Stakeholder Commitee Meeting fosters ongoing communication among the department and the industry help to bring added consistency to the food inspection process.


The Cutting Edge program is Awarded with National Recognition!

Cutting Edge

The Environmental Services Department's "The Cutting Edge" program is the recipient of a 2014 Achievement Award granted by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in the category of Health. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors presented the Award in a special ceremony, along with the 34 total NACo recognitions  achieved by Maricopa County this year, the most in the nation.


The Cutting Edge Program helps food-related operators with gaining more “Active Management Control” in their establishments and creates a preventive rather than reactive approach to food safety, allowing inspectors to focus on the establishments that might pose greater health risks.

Cutting Edge Team

Environmental Services Department Deputy Director Steven Goode, Environmental Health Specialist Supervisor Susie Sid, Department Director John Kolman and Environmental Health Division Manager Andy Linton (pictured left to right) received this award for the department. Mr. Linton expressed appreciation to all the staff and industry that have made this such an effective and successful program. "This national recognition underscores that the Cutting Edge is positively impacting the health and safety of our community, and has shaped the future of our food inspection program".

Back to Top


Get your business' game plan in place for Super Bowl!


Super Bowl 2015 will bring an estimated additional 1 (one) million visitors to Maricopa County.  This would potentially increase the population of the County by 25% for that one week period. Food establishments, hotels, water supplies, waste water disposal, waste collection, and public/semi-public swimming pools will all be affected by this influx of visitors. Are you prepared?

Visit our Super Bowl Web page and learn about some of the variety of services and information that Maricopa County Environmental Services Department can assist you with to get your 'unit' ready to score high!

Back to Top


Working with the Community

By Mark Tom, REHS, RS, CPM / Environmental Health Specialist, Mobile Food Program


City of Mesa Park Rangers have recently encountered many unpermitted vendors at their adult and youth soccer league games. They have also noticed unpermitted food vendors popping up in lots on Friday and Saturday evenings. Unfortunately, Rangers are limited to the parks and their authority is limited with that.  The Park Rangers have worked with the Mobile Food Program office in the past and reached out to us again to assist with the unpermitted vendors.  So after a few calls, a joint operation was planned for Friday, July 18th.  Four inspectors along with two Park Rangers collaborated to hit the streets of Mesa.


Many vendors who were stopped by the Park Rangers were confused at first, but the Mobile Food team was able to educate and communicate food safety concerns, as well as, provide them with information regarding obtaining permits to sell food. The night provided a mixed bag of surprises including non-permitted vendors on bikes (5),taco stand with homemade food, an expired permit on an ice cream truck(previously cited), and a neighborhood Mercado selling space to vendors to vend cabeza and lengua tacos, cooked corn  on cob and cooked corn soup. The joint effort worked well for everyone.  We were able to extend the enforcement and education and their presence made working on the street much safer for inspectors.   We were not able to address all the Rangers concerns at this time but more collaborations will be scheduled in the near future.  We believe it was a true success.

Back to Top


Pin It!


At MCESD we continually strive to make efficient use of Social Media resources.

With so much information for consumption, we’ve taken to Pinterest to dish out pieces of information in easy to digest bites!

One of our more active boards is Permitting Services. Offering tips ranging from Types of Approved Barriers to Maintaining Proper Airflow we are helping potential vendors understand their responsibilities and how to accomplish them, without overwhelming them.

We also feature information about some of our other programs such as Vector Control, feature winners of previous Stormwater Pollution Awareness poster contests and are working on developing other boards as well.

View all of our boards on Pinterest!

Bact to Top


Provisions afloat

By Greg Epperson / EOpS, Water & Waste Division - Swimming Pool Program


Did you know that there are two retroactive provisions of the Maricopa County Health Code that came into effect on January 1, 2014 in regards to Public and Semi-public Swimming Pools and Spas?

The first retroactive provision deals with safety measures to prevent anyone from becoming entrapped on the main or therapy drain of a pool or spa. By January 1, 2014, all regulated bodies of water needed to have been remodeled with drains split at least 36” apart, or a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) installed on the pump.

The second retroactive provision deals with pool and spa enclosures. By January 1, 2014, all enclosures needed to have been brought up to current Health Code standards, including a minimum height of 5 feet, no footholds, no openings wider than 4”, gates and doors opening away from the pool, etc.  Visit on our Web site for a complete list of regulations for Public and Semi-public Swimming pools and Spas (Chapter 6 of the Maricopa County Environmental Health Code).

Thank you for helping us make swimming pools and spas in Maricopa County as clean and safe as possible for everyone to enjoy!

Back to Top


Time for Water, Wastewater, or Reclaimed Water?

Water and Waste

The Subdivision, Infrastructure and Planning Program is part of the Water & Waste Management Division of the Environmental Services Department of Maricopa County and is responsible for approving and regulating water, wastewater and reclaimed water facilities and systems located within the public right-of-way.

The Subdivision, Infrastructure and Planning Program's activities include:

  • Project Approvals
  • Plan Approvals
  • Enforcement
  • Technical Support
  • Regulatory Review

In addition to the above activities, Subdivision, Infrastructure and Planning Program staff routinely offer outreach, instruction, and advice regarding the rules and regulations applicable to water, wastewater and reclaimed water facilities and systems located within Maricopa County. For more information or assistance, please call: (602) 506-0376 or visit: our website.

Back to Top


Are you causing floods?


Help prevent flooding by keeping your yard clean!

Stormwater flows to our washes and waterways through the storm drain system.

Loose trash and debris will clog our storm systems and is one of the causes of flooding.

Don’t wait! ‘When it rains, it pours…’

Trash and yard waste must be stored and disposed of properly.  

You  can help prevent floods! Remember..

Keeping your yard clean, helps keep the storm drain and our waterways clean!

Learn more, visit: maricopa.gov/stormwater

Back to Top


Don't give mosquitoes a chance!

Green pool

As we continue to experience more rain due to the monsoon storms, there’s more accumulation of water, not only in washes, culverts and puddles but also in our home.  Stagnant water is conducive for the breeding of mosquitoes. As you may know, mosquitoes are capable of spreading many diseases to humans and animals, such as West Nile virus (WNV).

By allowing water to stagnate, especially in flower vases, uncovered barrels, buckets, and discarded tires-, we provide the necessary environment for mosquitoes to lay their eggs and for these to hatch.

The key to stopping mosquitoes from breeding and to minimize the risks of WNV is to eliminate the places where mosquitoes lay their eggs. If there's no puddles in your backyard, you've eliminated half your problem.

“Prevention is the best tool we have”, said John Kolman, Director of Maricopa County Environmental Services Department. “We need to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and also prevent mosquitoes from breeding,” Kolman added.

  • Avoid outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs and use an insect repellent if you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active. Always follow the directions on the label.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight fitting screens and remain closed.
  • Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home by removing standing water in potted plants, tires, bird baths and other containers where water may collect.
  • Ensure that swimming pools and decorative water features are properly maintained.
  • Change water in flowerpots, birdbaths and pet watering bowls located outdoors at least twice per week.

In Maricopa County, for more information on West Nile virus, to set-up an appointment to obtain mosquito eating fish at no cost to you, to report green pools, file any mosquito related complaint, register on the Fogging Notification System or for WNV materials or presentations for your group/organization, please call the West Nile Virus General Information and Help Line at (602) 506-0700, or visit maricopa.gov/wnv.

Back to Top


Stay More Connected!

Social Media icons

Follow Us, Like Us, Watch Us and More!

Maricopa County Environmental Services department is constantly working to make effective use of social media. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and now also on Pinterest!   

Back to Top