Enviro~Connections - June 2015

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[ June 17, 2015]


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)
106 E. Baseline Rd.,
Mesa, AZ 85210
Phone: (602) 372-3000

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)


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Thank you for staying connected with EnviroConnections by Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.
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New Policy Statements Provide Interpretation of Swimming Pool Code Design and Operation Requirements

By Greg Epperson, Environmental Services Managing Supervisor, Swimming Pools Program, Water & Waste Management


The Department recently posted documents on the County website that provide our interpretation of Environmental Health Code requirements.  These substantive policy statements provide information to our customers regarding the procedures our employees use to review and inspect public and semi-public swimming pool facilities. 

The document entitled Semi-Public Pool-Spa Covers is a Code interpretation important to swimming safety.  The Code prohibits “obstructions” in a bathing place.   It states that the Department considers a pool or spa cover to be an obstruction which must be completely removed when the facility is open.  A pool cover over part of a pool could trap a swimmer who surfaces under the covered area. 

Other recent substantive policy statements for pools include:

·         Restroom Facilities at Semi-Public Swimming Pools

·         ADA Requirements for Swimming Pool Latch Heights

·         Specialty Contractor License Classifications Accepted on remodel Applications for Public and Semi-Pubic Swimming Pools

·         Bathing Place Deck Drainage Requirements

The documents can be found by going to our website esd.maricopa.gov . On the left side panel, click on the first item under Quick Links, “Directory of Documents”, then select “Substantive Policy Statements.” 


Retire Your Fax! Apply for Pool Program Construction Inspections Online

By Greg Maupin, Engineering Supervisor, Water & Waste Management Division

pool pemit

Contractors can now request all pool construction inspections by filling out a form online at the Department’s website. Go to the inspections page in the swimming pools section of the website, and click on the hyperlink in green to open the form.

The form allows you to submit a scanned copy of the required final inspection certification letter.  A comment section at the bottom of the form provides space for information such as a preferred inspection date or time.  Upon submission, you will receive an automatic response that your request has been received.  Our inspector will follow up with you regarding the inspection schedule.

Here is the web address for the pool inspection page: http://www.maricopa.gov/EnvSvc/WaterWaste/SwimPools/Inspections.aspx

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Fight the Bite, Day and Night!


By: Johnny Diloné – Public Information Officer

Mosquito bites can be more than just itchy and annoying. They can cause you to get sick. The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites.

Three simple steps can help keep you, your family and friends healthy and enjoying the outdoors!

Prevent mosquito bites

Prevent mosquito breeding

Prevent the spread of disease

Insect Repellent Hand

Prevent Mosquito Bites

Use Insect Repellent

Apply on exposed skin when you go outdoors. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those with DEET, picardin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read and follow all directions and precautions on the product label.

Wear Long-sleeves and Pants

When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or DEET will give extra protection.
Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin.
Do not spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.

Fight the Bite Day and Night

Dusk and dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes. But mosquitoes can bite at any time. Use repellent and protective clothing whenever you spend time outside, even if it’s not evening and early morning.  

Install or Repair Screens

Even if it looks small, fix any rips or tears in screens on windows and doors. Make sure screens fit so mosquitoes don’t get in between gaps.  

Drain Standing Water

Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, and other containers near your home. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when not in use.

Mosquito Breeding

Prevent Mosquito Breeding

Learning how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding can go a long way towards reducing the impact of mosquitoes on your standard of living. Water is needed for every stage of the mosquito breeding process. If you deprive the mosquitoes of water, they will be unable to breed.

1) Empty, drain, or cover all things that can and may hold water.  

2) Maintain decorative ponds and ensure swimming pools are operating properly.   

3) Change water collection pans for plant pots weekly.  

5) Clean bird baths weekly.  

Prevent the spread of disease

Report any mosquito concerns or standing water more than 3 days, visit: Maricopa.gov/wnv or call the West Nile virus and Mosquito Surveillance Hotline: (602) 506-0700.

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Audits of Food Employee Training Documentation

Verification Visit 1

By: Andrew Linton, Environmental Health Division Manager

The most effective way to reduce the risk of foodborne illness in your establishment is to ensure managers and key personnel are actively engaged in creating and maintaining food safety systems.  This proactive approach to food safety is often referred to as “Active Managerial Control” and can be broken down into three simple steps: 1. Develop policies; 2. Train staff; 3. Verify training is put into practice.

Earlier this year the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved changes to food employee training requirements.  As training plays such a key role in Active Managerial Control and foodborne illness prevention, these new regulations seek to enhance training options. They also emphasize the responsibility of the person-in-charge to ensure all food employees are adequately trained (for additional information on these changes click here).   One of the key provisions requires the person in charge to maintain documentation that all food employees have been properly trained.    

There are three forms of acceptable training documentation: 

1.       A valid food employee certificate, or identification card, issued by any Arizona county

2.       A valid food employee certificate of successful completion of an ANSI-accredited third-party food handler training course

3.       Food employee training documentation from a food establishment’s proprietary food handler training course (see the FAQ below for more information on in-house training)


Stratman at Safeway

As was the practice with food service worker cards, the Department will conduct audits of food employee training documentation.  Training documentation for each employee must be available for review at the time of inspection.  Audits of this documentation will generally be conducted during inspections when repetitive foodborne illness risk factor violations are observed.  If documentation cannot be provided for each food employee, it will be noted on the inspection report, and the inspector will follow up within 10 days to ensure the training is completed and training documentation is obtained.  

When an audit is triggered for training that was received via an establishment’s proprietary food handler training course, the inspector will also ask food employees to demonstrate knowledge of basic food handling principles related to the violations observed on the inspection.  For example, if a repetitive hot holding violation is observed, the inspector will ask to see the training documentation and may ask the food employee to demonstrate knowledge of the proper hot holding temperature.  If the food employee cannot demonstrate this knowledge, it will be noted on the inspection report and the inspector will follow up within 10 days to ensure adequate training is completed, and training documentation is obtained. 

Verification Visit 3

·         As the person in charge of the food establishment, what do I have to do to be in compliance with food employee training requirements?

1.       Ensure each food employee has received the proper food safety training

2.       Ensure each food employee is putting the food safety training into practice

3.       Ensure documentation of food employee training for each food employee is available for the inspector to review during inspections 

·         What types of food employee training documentation are acceptable?

1.       A valid food employee certificate or identification card, issued by any Arizona county

2.       A valid food employee certificate of successful completion of an ANSI-accredited third-party food handler training course

3.       Food employee training documentation from a food establishment’s proprietary food handler training course

·         Will the inspector verify food employee training during inspections?

Audits of food employee training documentation will be triggered when one or more repetitive foodborne illness risk factor violations are observed during an inspection. 

·         What are foodborne illness risk factors?

Foodborne illness risk factors are related to food temperatures, approved food sources, personal hygiene, and cross-contamination.   

·         What if I do not have food employee training documentation for each employee?

If this documentation cannot be provided, it will be noted on the inspection report and the inspector will follow up within 10 days to ensure the training is completed, and training documentation is obtained.     

·         How do I obtain approval for my establishment’s proprietary, or in-house, training program?

The Department will accept training documentation from an establishment’s proprietary, or in-house, training programs when the following criteria are met:

1.       The training course was in place prior to July 24, 2014

2.       The training course covers food handling principles defined in the Maricopa County Environmental Health Code

3.       Documentation of training for each food employee is maintained on the premises

4.       Employees are able to demonstrate knowledge of basic food handling principles

·         If my establishment’s in-house training program is ANSI-accredited will the inspector still ask food employees to demonstrate knowledge?

No, however documentation of this training will still have to be available for review.

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'Walking on egg shells' for Food Safety


By Bryan Hare, Central Regional Office Managing Supervisor

In recent months there have been a number of poultry farms in the United States affected by the Avian Flu outbreak, which has killed millions of chickens, thereby decreasing the overall supply of chicken eggs and other egg products. This outbreak may affect many of the food establishments that normally use liquid pasteurized eggs.

If this impacts your supply of liquid pasteurized eggs and you are switching to raw shell eggs, there are some things to keep in mind regarding their handling:

·         Raw shell eggs that are broken and prepared in response to a consumer’s order and for immediate service must be cooked to at least 145*F for 15 seconds, or, if cooked to order (undercooked), a consumer advisory must be on the menu.

·         The pooling of raw shell eggs is allowed under the 2013 FDA Food Code, except in establishments that serve highly susceptible populations such as hospitals, nursing homes, and child daycares that require pasteurized egg products.

·         Raw shell eggs that are pooled must be cooked to a temperature of at least 155*F for 15 seconds.  Raw shell eggs that are cooked for hot holding (buffets, steam tables, etc.) must cook the eggs to 155*F for 15 seconds.

·         Wash your hands after handling raw eggs products and always before handling ready to eat foods such as bread, tortillas, cheese, etc.

·         Avoid cross contamination of equipment and other food products by handling and storing raw food products correctly.  For example, work surfaces that have contacted raw shell eggs must be washed, rinse and sanitized before use with ready to eat foods. 

·         Store raw shell eggs below ready to eat foods.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact your health inspector, district supervisor and/or the department at: (602) 506-6616.

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Attention Food Permit Holders!!!


How do you think Maricopa County Environmental Services can better prepare you for your regulatory inspections?  

This is your opportunity to tell us in 5 easy questions how we can assist you in your path to success.

Click here to take our survey now

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Paddling to success


Maricopa County Environmental Services employee has been selected to the Team USA U24 Women’s Dragon Boat Team!

By: Johnny Diloné – Public Information Officer 

For food vendors that participate in special events or operate mobile food businesses in Maricopa County, Stephanie Yee is becoming a familiar face.  Like a fish in its aquarium, she moves around with joy and energy while she does her job and conducts inspections.  Stephanie is an Environmental Health Specialist with the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department, or what many would refer to as a "health or food inspector".  She is assigned to the Mobile Food/Special Events Program.  But, pretty soon, she’ll be living her very own special event and she’ll be known beyond seas, as she proudly conquers other waters representing the USA in a world competition.


“I made it! I am going to the World Dragon Boat Racing Championship 2015!” exclaimed Stephanie.  Her excitement has been shared by friends and family, and has also been contagious among her "family" of co-workers in the County.  Getting here has not been easy though, it has certainly required a lot of work and a lot of paddling.  “I started paddling four years ago for ‘fun’, but little did I know how competitive I would become.” 

Stephanie explained that she began her paddling career on Tempe Town Lake with the ASU collegiate team and was later recruited for the AZ Mutineers team.  In addition to those teams, she also paddles with AZ SunGi Women’s and AZ Gila Dragons.  She also cross trains with Na Leo ‘O Ke Kai Outrigger Canoe team.   And if that was not enough, when she’s not paddling, she does not stop; she’s training at the gym! 

This all may sound fun, but for someone who is also committed to her job, it requires a lot of energy, work, focus and dedication.  These four things are certainly characteristics that Stephanie displays and are the qualities of a champion.  “I generally come in to work at 7 in the morning and work 10 hours.  Then I go to train at Tempe Town Lake,” said Steph.  She trains at least three nights during the week for about 3 hours each time, and also trains every Saturday morning.  “It’s very hard, but it’s a good distraction,” she said.


Stephanie is an Arizona native from Chandler, Arizona.  She graduated from ASU with an Undergraduate major in Biochemistry and last year obtained her Master’s degree in Global Health.  Stephanie started working with the county last October.  Since then, she also studied hard to obtain her Sanitarian Registration for her job.    

Recently, she learned that after all that intense training for time trials and multiple physical fitness tests, she was selected to paddle for the Team USA U24 Women’s Dragon Boat Team (24 years and under division). 

Dragon boat is a team paddling sport that began in China; it has now grown to a competitive sport at a world level led by the International Dragon Boat Federation.  This year, the World Championship will be held in Welland, Canada from August 17 through 23. 

However, none of the expenses are paid for; she has already received considerable support from her family, friends, and even strangers.  She established a gofundme* account and a PayPal** account, for those that would like to help her out on this journey.  “If you can’t financially support me, that is absolutely OK! I am just as happy with everyone cheering for me on this incredible journey,” she stated.

After representing the USA in this renowned international competition, Stephanie will be returning home with more reasons to cheer and celebrate, right on time for her birthday on August 24.

“My family has been very excited.  They’ve been so supportive,” she exclaimed while she acknowledged that she has many people to thank, which have helped her out in the process.  First, her coaches: Peggy Coulombe (Na Leo ‘O Ke Kai Outigger Canoe), who encouraged her and pushed her throughout trainings; Don Mead and Adrian Sudjono (ASU/AZ mutineers), for helping her build her competitiveness in dragon boat; and Marisa Singpradith (AZ SunGi Women’s team), the coach who organized the time trials for her.  “I never thought about this.  My coach -Marisa- was real good and not only organized the time trials, but was in contact with Team USA coaches to send someone to Arizona.  I never would’ve put myself out there!”

Now that she’s really “out there” and “navigating the waters of success”, she knows the path would not be easy, it requires a lot of strength and paddling.  But, whether her ‘special event’ is in a mobile kitchen or on a boat, she feels empowered and supported: “I feel incredibly grateful for the support I’m getting from my teammates and now my workplace.  It feels awesome and I’m so excited to share this journey with everyone”.

 * http://www.gofundme.com/q7vht8

** PayPal account (stephaniezyee@gmail.com)


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