Food Digest - February 2017


February 2017



Food Digest is a quarterly newsletter written by inspectors from your local health department to support and educate Hennepin County food facility owners and managers about food safety as recommended by Minnesota Food Code 4626.

Basic food safety class coming in March



The next basic food safety class will be the afternoon of March 29, 2017. It will be located at our office in Hopkins. For more information and to sign-up please visit our website (basic food safety class tab) or call our main line at 612-543-5200.


We welcome comments or ideas about our newsletter. 

Hannah Marschinke


Amy Zagar


New year, new beginnings

As we begin 2017, there’s quite a few changes going on in Hennepin County Environmental Health. Over the past year we’ve had some employees move on to other agencies, retire, and join our team.

We’d like to introduce the following to Environmental Health!


Bill Phillips joined our team in September 2016.  Bill comes to us from Scott County Environmental Health where he spent 13 years inspecting landfills, septic systems and hazardous waste generators, and helped operate their household hazardous waste facility.  Bill’s previous private sector experience includes working for Onyx Environmental where he was a field chemist conducting hazardous waste clean-ups.  He brings with him a septic inspection license as well as the Registered Sanitarian credential. Bill received his bachelor's degree in soils and resource management with a minor in chemistry from UW-Stevens Point.  Bill enjoys spending time with his wife and four kids and loves camping, fishing and boating.  


Twila Singh joins Hennepin County, and Minnesota, from North Dakota where she worked for the state health department. She is originally from Oregon, and graduated with degrees in biological anthropology, geology, business administration and public policy in 2009 from the University of Oregon. Twila then served with the Peace Corps for two and a half years in Malawi. After her service, she attended North Dakota State University and graduated with her master’s degree in public health in 2014. She has a toddler to manage in her spare time, and thus has no hobbies at the moment.


Zamzam Abdirahman was an intern at Hennepin County Environmental Health Department during the summer of 2016 before staying on as a community health worker. She was recently promoted to environmentalist, starting in January 2017. Prior to being an intern, Zamzam graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, studying biology, society and environment. She also minored in history of medicine, science and technology.  Her primary duties include pool, lodging and food inspections but will be helping out with tobacco inspections and beach samplings in the upcoming summer.


Wren Terpstra joined the department as a full-time community health specialist in November 2016. Wren has a master’s degree in public health from George Washington University and now works as the county’s second licensor. Outside of work she enjoys the outdoors, playing with her nieces, and animals. 


Prior to joining Hennepin County’s Environmental Health unit, Andrea Perez-Maikkula came to us from the emergency preparedness unit. In addition to her duties in environmental health, she co-leads the community engagement strategy for the Public Health Department. Andrea was born and raised in Puerto Rico, has a master’s in public health and is currently working on her second master’s in international development. She founded a non-profit organization in 2008 where she has done community development work in Africa, Guatemala, Brazil, and Haiti where her main focus is ecological sanitation. She speaks five languages and is still not used to the Minnesota winters!


Barb Krech has been working in environmental health for 27 years at various agencies including the City of Bloomington, St. Louis Park, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.  Barb has learned new things with each agency and has worked with many wonderful people.

She is a new “empty nester” as her twin boys went off to college this past fall. She and her husband enjoy outdoor activities that involve bicycles, motorcycles, hiking, and camping.  They are planning for some additional vacations to Europe now that they have more freedom.  Barb loves to bake; any excuse to whip up a batch of something is worthwhile to her.


Josh Suckow graduated from Saint John’s University in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in biology. Following graduation, he spent several years conducting shallow lake research for the Red Lake Department of Natural Resources. Previously, Josh has worked as a biology lab and mathematics instructor, and has more than 10 years of restaurant experience at his back. 

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    Basic food safety class March 29, 2017 in Hopkins. Go to or call 612-543-5200 for more information and to sign-up.

    Web resources

    Visit for information on:

    • General environmental health
    • Basic food safety classes
    • Temporary food stand licensing
    • Food license information, categories and fee schedule
    • New construction or remodeling application

    Radon information and test kits 

    Septic system requirements and procedures

    Body art licensing information (tattooing and piercing) 

    Beaches in Hennepin County


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