Enviro~Connections ALERT (July 7, 2020)

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July 7, 2020


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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Thank you for staying connected with EnviroConnections by Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.
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County Provides Small Business Relief Program

Business - Open

Maricopa County is providing relief to small businesses and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Supervisors approved $23 million in federal CARES Act funding for the grant program as many businesses struggle to stay open or reopen. The Small Business Relief Program will provide up to $10,000 in grants to reimburse businesses and non-profits (501(c)3) for lost revenues during March and April. The application period opens next week.

“We know a lot of businesses would be going strong if not for the pandemic,“ said Clint Hickman, District 4, Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. “What we have seen is unprecedented. The Board hopes this money can keep businesses and non-profits afloat, so they can keep people working and money flowing in the local economy.”

Maricopa County partnered with the Arizona Community Foundation to administer this program on behalf of the County. Grants will be provided on a rolling, first come, first served basis until funding is exhausted or the grant period closes. Applications will be accepted from July 9 through July 31, 2020. Applicants will need to meet pre-qualification guidelines, answer a series of questions about their business, and provide requested documentation.

Cares Act

The grants will be open to businesses and non-profits across Maricopa County, except those in the cities of Phoenix and Mesa since those cities also received significant CARES Act money and are operating similar programs.

For more information about the Small Business Relief Program, including application materials and requirements

visit: www.azfoundation.org/MaricopaRelief.  

Questions can also be emailed to: MaricopaRelief@azfoundation.org.

Resources for you during COVID-19


Maricopa County Coronavirus/COVID-19 for news, updates and a wide variety of resources.

Maricopa County Public Health Department's COVID-19 business resource page 

ESD.Maricopa.gov for COVID-19 Resources

Coronavirus questions and concerns can be directed to Governor Doug Ducey’s office at 602 542-4331, or by calling the COVID-19 Hotline toll-free at 1-844-542-8201 or dialing 2-1-1.

Is Your Refrigerator Running?

Fridge Temp

Year after year the most frequently occurring priority violation in Maricopa County is failure to keep cold foods at 41°F or below. Most of these violations occur during the hot summer months.

With the 100°+ temperatures every summer, what can you do to avoid this pitfall?

  • First, develop a plan to ensure that cold food temperatures are monitored throughout the day using a calibrated thermometer. This plan should outline who is responsible for taking temperatures and how often.  Recording these temperatures in a log is also recommended for verification purposes. 
  • Remember to include instructions on what to do when the temperature of a cold food is found to be above 41°F. 
  • Second, ensure that your employees receive training on the plan. Each food employee should understand their role and responsibility in successfully carrying out the plan.  Write down your plan and keep it where staff can refer to it when needed.    
  • Third, designated employees should regularly verify that the plan is being carried out correctly. This may include spot checking temperatures of cold foods and/or checking temperature logs. 
refrigerator - maintenance

Don’t forget preventive maintenance! 

Preventive maintenance will keep your refrigerators operating at peak performance to safely hold foods at required temperatures.  Preventive maintenance is a worthwhile investment.  Paying special attention to your refrigerators will help them continue to work properly, save money over the life of the unit(s), and ensure that you are serving safe and wholesome food for your customers.

You can find tools to help you develop this proactive approach to keeping cold foods cold by clicking here!

ROP Processes: Benefits and Risk of Foodborne Illness

ROP Process

Reduced oxygen packaging, or ROP, is a procedure that removes air from a sealed package. ROP is a special process used in food establishments that aids in food quality. Growth of spoilage organisms is prevented by removing oxygen, which creates an anaerobic environment. The anaerobic environment also reduces fat oxidation and rancidity, prevents color deterioration, and reduces shrinkage by preventing water loss. 

There are several different types of ROP, such as vacuum packaging, cook chill, sous vide, modified atmospheric packaging, and controlled atmospheric packaging. While there are many benefits to these processes, there is also an increased risk of foodborne illness. One of the main pathogens of concern with using ROP is Clostridium botulinum. C. botulinum, more commonly known by the disease that it causes, botulism, is an anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium. C. botulinum thrives in low oxygen conditions. Commonly found in soil and marine sediments, it is a hardy microorganism. When survival conditions are poor, the bacterium forms protective spores. These spores form a coating to protect key parts of the bacterium, allowing it to survive dormant for years. While dormant, it can survive extreme conditions such as freezing, boiling water, and drought. When in an environment with favorable conditions, the spores of C. botulinum will turn into vegetative cells, which will grow, reproduce, and form a neurotoxin. The toxin does not impart any abnormal appearance, taste, or smell to food. If an individual ingests the smallest quantity of neurotoxin, it could cause paralysis or even death. Competitive bacteria cannot grow in low oxygen conditions, allowing C. botulinum to grow and produce toxin unimpeded.

ROP Process (b)

It is because of these increased risks that the use of ROP requires an approved variance and a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. There are exemptions for performing ROP without a variance and HACCP plan if the food is removed from the package within 48 hours of being packaged, labeled with production time and date, and held at 41ᵒF or less.

Visit the Food Variance page on our ESD website, for additional information regarding Reduced Oxygen Packing and applying for a variance.

Fight The Bite Maricopa!

The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department team works year-round monitoring and treating mosquitoes, to help prevent the spread of diseases like West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis.

Mosquito activity tends to increase in the summer, so now is the time to learn how you can help protect yourself and others from mosquitoes.

Watch the enclosed video about the County’s Mosquito Control Program, the simple things you can do, and how it takes a team effort to #FightTheBite!

Visit FightTheBiteMaricopa.org to learn more.

Monitoring Mosquitoes

Click Here or on Image Above to Watch Video.

Stay More Connected!

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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, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!   

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