Enviro~Connections (September 10, 2019)

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September 10, 2019


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

For all Environmental Services Permitting, you may visit:

Development Services Center

Development Services Center Planning & Development / Environmental Services Department

501 N. 44th Street, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85008 (Map)

Phone: (602) 506-6616

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

Monday thru Friday

(Excluding Holidays) 

Department Locations & Hours


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


MCESD Environmental Health Division Office Locations:

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: (602) 506-6980 -Currently Closed for Business-

Western Regional Office (Map)
16140 N. Arrowhead Fountain Center Dr., Suite #105
Peoria, AZ 85382
Phone: (602) 506-6015

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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September is National Food Safety Education Month

Food Safety

Learn how to be a food safety superhero! Take steps to help prevent food poisoning, and show others how to keep food safe.

CDC Logo

Every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food. .Anyone can get sick from a foodborne illness (also called food poisoning). But some groups of people are more likely to get sick and to have a more serious illness. These groups are:

  • Children younger than 5
  • Adults aged 65 and older
  • People with health problems or who take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness
  • Pregnant women
Food Safety Month - CDC

There are things you can do to protect yourself and your family. As you prepare and handle food, follow these four steps:

  • Clean: Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often when you cook.
  • Separate: Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread germs. Separate them from cooked food and fresh produce.
  • Cook: Use a food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to an internal temperature that kills germs.
  • Chill: Refrigerate perishable foodsexternal icon and leftovers within two hours. Chill within one hour if it’s above 90°F.

Let’s make sure everyone knows how to protect themselves and their loved ones from food poisoning.

The AMC Toolbox is Complete!! – Free Food Safety Resources

AMC Toolbox Logo

The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department is excited to announce the completion of its food safety resources tool, the Active Managerial Control (AMC) Toolbox.  The development of this AMC Toolbox has taken 5 years, with the help of an FDA grant, and should provide food service operators all the resources they need to make meaningful improvements in the area of food safety. This toolbox is a web based library of videos, posters, guidance documents, and other resources available for all food service operators to utilize.

AMC Toolbox - Web

The materials are offered in English, Spanish, and Chinese and are focused on the 10 most frequently occurring violations within Maricopa County.  The principles of Active Managerial Control are what the resources are based on.  They will help operators develop food safety policies, train staff on policies, and implement verification steps that will help managers ensure the policies and procedures are being followed.  Through the development of food safety systems based on AMC principles, businesses can obtain long term compliance and keep their customers safe.  The Toolbox is getting recognized by other health departments across the nation.  Environment Services has already shared these resources with multiple jurisdictions who are very excited about them.  We are too and know we are providing the most up to date resources food service operators need.

AMC Class Video

Even though we encourage food service operators to visit our website and review the AMC Toolbox materials, the Department has also provided direct access to these resources through inspection reports.  Whenever one of these 10 violations occurs, the description of the violation will include a hyperlink that will take you directly to that violations resource page.  We want to ensure you don’t have to go on a long search for the resources you need.

As a reminder, the Department also offers a free class on these AMC principles.  This quick 2 hour class will help you learn everything you need to know about Active Managerial Control and help give you a jump start to make the best use of the Toolbox materials. 

AMC Tools

To obtain more information on our AMC classes and access the AMC Toolbox, please visit our ESD website.  Click on the Active Managerial Control tab to access all of these great resources.  Also, ask your inspectors about these resources during inspections.  They will eagerly guide you through our website and how to access them.

Inspection Survey for the Occurrence of Violations

By Tim Hurst, Environmental Health Supervisor

Food Inspection Survey (A)

Every five years Maricopa County Environmental Services Department conducts a food safety (risk factor) survey to assess the frequency of violations in food service establishments. The data collected from these surveys allows us to develop food safety strategies to reduce risk factor violations that directly result in foodborne illness. Since our last food safety survey, with the assistance of a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a food safety resource library was created and shared with food service establishments. Part of our ongoing cooperative agreement with the FDA is to perform an inspection survey to assess the frequency of violations in food service establishments and determine if these resources are beneficial.

Participation in the survey is voluntary. Randomly selected establishments will be asked if they would like to participate prior to the start of each survey visit. Establishments that agree to participate will receive a non-regulatory assessment, which means there will be no impact to an operator’s permit and no inspection report will be generated for the operator.

Food Insepction Survey (B)

This data collection survey is designed to protect the privacy of participating establishments. The data will be tabulated to broad industry segments and will not be associated with any particular business.

We would like to personally thank the food establishments that are chosen and agree to participate in the survey. It is through collaborations such as this that we can improve the health of all citizens of Maricopa County. 

Cold Brewed Coffee

by Jaime Viñarás, NRO Managing Supervisor

During these sweltering summer months, that hot cup of morning Joe may be replaced with cold brewed coffee. Cold brewed coffee has been around for some time.  However, over the past few years it has grown in popularity with consumers of caffeinated products. Unlike regular brewed coffee, cold brew fans claim that it is less bitter, less acidic, and provides an extra caffeinated punch to get you through the day. 

Cold Brewed Coffee

Traditional methods for making cold brewed coffee include steeping coffee grounds in cold water for about a day at room temperature. A variance is required to prepare and sell cold brewed coffee using the traditional preparation method. Why is a variance required for adding cold water to coffee grounds and leaving it at room temperature?  Cold brewed coffee is considered a time/temperature for safety food.  The room temperature steeping process may support the growth of harmful bacteria that can make your customers sick. The variance process ensures that you have procedures in place to control bacterial growth.  A variance is also required to keg cold brewed coffee, which is considered reduced oxygen packaging. 

There is an alternative to making cold brewed coffee that does not require a variance from our Department. A variance is not required if you maintain cold brewed coffee at 41°F or below during steeping, holding, and dispensing.  The cold brewed coffee must be used or discarded within 7 days, including the day it was brewed, and it must not be reduced oxygen packaged/kegged. It may take you a bit longer to brew this way, but trust me you get the same results. For more information on cold brewed coffee, visit our website at https://www.maricopa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/44843/Cold-Brew-Coffee?bidId=

New Fee Waiver On-line application

By Jeannie Taylor, Records Management Specialist

Food Volunteers

Environmental Services Department has introduced an on-line fee waiver application to qualified Non-profit Charitable Organizations and K-12 culinary arts school programs. Just go to the Food & Restaurants page on Environmental Services Website and click the Fee Waiver Application link.

Fee Waiver Application Link

Since September 1, 1998, the Board of Health has granted fee waivers to operators of charitable nonprofit establishments, which operates to provide relief solely to the poor, distressed or underprivileged. Said operators must maintain a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt designation from the Internal Revenue Service and demonstrate to the Board of Health that payment of the permit fee will cause financial hardship.  In 1998, Environmental Services created a fee waiver application that charitable nonprofit establishments completed and submitted to Environmental Services.  In turn, Environmental Services presents the fee waiver applications to the Board of Health for their approval.

In July 2012, fee waivers expanded to include the fee associated with administering and issuance of a food employee certificate to volunteers working at an establishment that maintains a current 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service or students currently enrolled in a K-12 culinary arts school program, which requires a food employee certificate. Both the establishment that maintains a current 501(c)(3) tax-exemption and the K-12 culinary arts school program must demonstrate to the Board of Heath that payment of said fee will cause financial hardship. Once more, Environmental Services created a fee waiver application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations and for K-12 culinary arts school programs to complete and submitted to Environmental Services. Environmental Services presents all three types of fee waiver applications to the Board of Health for their approval.

If you believe your organization or K-12 culinary arts program qualifies for a fee waiver, complete the on-line application, attach your digital documents, click the submit button and your fee waiver application is automatically sent to Environmental Services to be processed and presented to the Board of Health.

A Food Safety Month Reminder by CDC and ESD

Food Safety Month (B)

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