Enviro~Connections - June 2016

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[ June 7, 2016 ]


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)

Stay Connected with ESD


Thank you for staying connected with EnviroConnections by Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.
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Hot weather is here!

Submitted by Andres Martin, Environmental Health Specialist, EH-Plan Review & Shikha Gupta, EH-WRO's Managing Supervisor

Summer is upon us and so are the dreadful 110°F plus temperatures. This is critically important for restaurants since refrigerators, have a limited ambient temperature range in which they can properly operate. Depending on the make and model of the refrigerator, it may not be built to operate in Arizona heat combined with the heat of the kitchen. Some refrigerators’ are rated for ambient temperatures of only 90°F, whereas others are rated to operate up to 140°F. 

It is important to know what conditions your equipment is rated for. Below is a graph showing the frequency of cold holding violations per month.  As you can see, the summer months show an increase of perishable foods found above 41°F.

Click on hyperlinked image below to enlarge:

Cold Holding-Cooling VIolations--2015

As food service operators, get ahead of the game!

So what can, or should you do to avoid this pitfall?

“Preventative Maintenance” will keep your refrigerators operating at peak performance to safely hold foods at required temperatures. You can either opt to hire a professional technician to help you in your success or you can learn some of the basics yourself, such as cleaning evaporator and condenser coils or replacing damaged gaskets/seals. Preventative maintenance is a worthwhile investment and paying special attention to your refrigerators will help them continue to work properly and save you money over the life of the unit(s) - not to mention, safe and wholesome food for your customers.

Remember, monitor and service your refrigerators as needed to ensure all perishable food items are stored at 41°F or less. This small step will reduce product loss and increase profits as you serve safe quality food to your customers.

Retail Deli Slicer Cleaning - A Food Safety Necessity


Submitted by Mark Duncan, Environmental Health Specialist, EH-WRO

A recently published report by the CDC “Retail Deli Slicer Cleaning Frequency — Six Selected Sites” revealed that only half of delis fully cleaned their slicers within the four hour cleaning cycle.  The report stated that delis more likely follow the 4 hour cleaning cycle had more than one slicer, a certified food safety manager and workers knowledgeable about food safety, a written slicer-cleaning policy and easy-to-clean slicers.

Deli meats are a major source of listeriosis illnesses, and meats sliced and packaged at retail delis are the major source of listeriosis illnesses.  Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria) causes the third highest number of foodborne illness deaths (an estimated 255) in the United States annually. Mechanical slicers pose cross-contamination risks in delis and are an important source of Listeria cross-contamination. Good slicer cleaning practices can reduce this foodborne illness risk.

Food contact surfaces are required to be cleaned as needed throughout the day but must be cleaned no less than every 4 hours to prevent the growth of microorganisms on those surfaces.  Compliance with the 4 hour cleaning cycle has always been an essential component of food safety and a challenge for the delicatessen.  Cleaning the slicers which are often in continuous use can be a difficult for the retail deli.



Deli managers must employ strategies to timely clean slicers within the 4 hour cleaning requirement and educate deli staff on proper cleaning procedures. They should have policies in place to ensure proper cleaning of all the slicers. These policies should be well communicated to their staff and all staff should be trained in making sure that they are executed properly. Making improvements to the policies as issues are encountered should be part of the process. Ongoing training and verification processes in place will determine the true success of the policies and procedures.

The application of these slicer cleaning requirements is necessary for the protection of the public, reducing the potential foodborne illness and lowering the incidence of infectious disease.

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Working with Our Community

Many wonder what happens when a restaurant or food establishment is inspected by one of our Environmental Health Specialists? How do these evaluate food safety practices to ensure that the food we eat is served safely? We invite the public to follow one of our food inspectors during a routine visit..

Watch Video:Click on hyperlinked picture below or visit: https://youtu.be/VWVL-7i13_g

Food Inspector (A)

Inspections of eating and drinking establishments may get the most coverage, but the professionals in our Environmental Health Division are more than just "restaurant inspectors".

Wondering what else we do? Take a look...

Watch Video:Click on hyperlinked picture below or visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9abU3HW_k80

Food Inspector (B)

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How safe is that pool?


Submitted by Kevin Chadwick, Water & Waste Division Manager; Greg Epperson, Managing Supervisor with the Water & Waste Management Division; & Johnny Diloné, MCESD Public Information Officer.

Before you or your loved-ones jump into the pool this summer, you may want to know how safe is that public or semi-public pool.  You can check out the Pool Inspection Reports on our Web site. 

Environmental Services Department (MCESD) permits and regulates public (e.g. municipalities, water parks) and semi-public (e.g. hotels, apartment complexes, homeowners associations, health clubs) pools in Maricopa County. MCESD reviews plans to ensure new pool designs meet health and safety requirements. (Click here for more information on application and requirements).

In a recent Pool Inspections Report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) it was highlighted that not only do we have one of the jurisdictions with a higher number of public swimming pools, but also we had one of the highest number of pool inspections of the Counties that provided data for the report (page 13).

The CDC reported that nearly a third of local health departments don’t regulate or inspect public pools.

The agency said it analyzed more than 84,000 inspections of nearly 49,000 pools and found that 1 in 8 inspections resulted in immediate closure because of serious health and safety violations.  

The CDC said the most common violations involved improper pH levels, safety equipment and disinfectant concentration. In Maricopa County, our most common closure reason is gates not working properly.  


So far this year, we have conducted over 7,600 inspections.  The Environmental Health Specialists in our MCESD Swimming Pool Program (Water & Waste Management Division) assist operators of public and semi-public pools to keep their pool safe and healthy for their users.

Most of our inspections result in minor violations and most of these are corrected at time of the inspection or in a timely manner.

Pool Safety Tips

For more information, to report a pool-related complaint, you may visit  ESD.Maricopa.gov or call (602) 506-6616.

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Fight the Bite - ESD expands mosquito testing

Vector Lab

Submitted by Erika Flores, Maricopa County Digital Journalist & Johnny Diloné, MCESD Public Information Officer.

Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) has enhanced its mosquito testing program to include testing for Zika virus. Previously, MCESD’s Vector Control technicians were testing for West Nile virus, Saint Louis encephalitis and Chikungunya. With updated federal guidance, the mosquito testing program has become even more robust.

“Our Vector Control Laboratory has been re-engineered and has new equipment,” said Steven Goode, Maricopa County Environmental Services Department director. “We have been working diligently with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand our mosquito testing protocols. This is another crucial step forward in our battle to protect Maricopa County residents and our visitors from mosquito-borne diseases.”

“The Board of Supervisors is proud of the steps taken to advance testing already done on mosquitoes,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman. “The County’s residents can be comforted in knowing that Maricopa County departments are working together and closely with other agencies to help minimize risks of mosquito-borne diseases.”

The type of mosquito that can carry the virus, Aedes aegypti, has been in Maricopa County for years, but according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, there is no evidence of Zika transmission within Arizona.

Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has now confirmed 4 travel-related cases of Zika virus in Arizona of Maricopa County residents who had traveled outside of the United States.  

As soon as County’s Department of Public Health becomes aware of suspect case, the individual is contacted to ensure that they stay indoors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in an attempt to prevent further spread of the virus.

To help protect yourself from mosquito bites when traveling, use mosquito repellant with DEET according to manufacturer’s instructions, wear long sleeves, and cover up as much as you can. At home, make sure to drain any containers of water even small ones.

“Mosquitoes will lay eggs in a soda-capful of water; that’s how little water that they need,” said Kara Cox, MCESD Vector Control specialist.

In addition to disposing of any stagnant water, it’s important to also wipe the inside of the container to make sure no mosquito eggs are stuck inside. 

For more information on how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and to avoid mosquito bites click here: FightTheBiteMaricopa.org 

Watch Video:Click on hyperlinked picture below or visit:



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Help Sam Make Clean Storm Drains Happen


Submitted by Kristin Onstott, Stormwater Quality Outreach

MCESD’s Stormwater Quality Program celebrated the winners of the 2016 Stormwater Pollution Awareness Poster Contest.  Students from county-wide schools were awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in two categories: 3rd /4th grade and 5th/6th grade. This year’s theme or message was  “Help Sam Make Clean Storm Drains Happen”, referencing the program’s mascot, Sam the Salamander.

Stormater Sam Salamander

Each winner received a certificate signed by Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman and MCESD Director, Steven Goode, along with prizes that were donated by Maricopa County Library District, Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Arizona State Parks, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation, and Desert Botanical Gardens.

The certificates were awarded at the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors formal meeting on April 20th by Mr. Hickman, Denny Barney, Andy Kunasek, Steve Chucri, and Steve Gallardo.  

MCESD thanks everyone who assisted in making this 7th Annual Stormwater Pollution Poster Contest another big success, from our department’s staff, the Board of Supervisors, the sponsors, the schools that participated, and most importantly, the students and their parents.

Winning posters will be used as part of the Stormwater Quality outreach efforts.

To watch the Poster Contest Winners special presentation at the Board of Supervisors, click on hyperlinked picture below or visit:


Stormwater Kids

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