Our core environmental health responsibilities include administering the statewide public health sanitation program for food safety, bottled water, hotels and motels, children’s camps, public schools, and public and semi-public swimming pools. We delegate most of the actual inspection work to the county health departments. We finished our 2012 statewide Annual Report last week. Last fiscal year the AZ system did 108,315 food safety inspections among the 41,985 food establishments in Arizona- for an average of about 2.5 inspections/year.
Our statewide goal is to do an average of 2 inspections per year at food establishments… but we separate facilities into complex, moderate and limited categories with the goal of inspecting complex places more frequently than simple ones. That’s because the public health return on investment is higher in places with complex menus or that serve high-risk populations (like assisted living centers). This year’s report shows that we met this benchmark- as the system completed about twice as many inspections at complex facilities compared to simple ones.