Food safety may not be something you think about everyday, but it is certainly on the minds of the ADHS Food Safety & Environmental Services Program and the County Environmental Health Departments.  These are the programs and departments charged with preventing foodborne illness through the inspections their Registered Sanitarians and Sanitarian Aides conduct at over 34,000 food establishments statewide.

These dedicated professionals tackle more than food safety though; they also conduct sanitation inspections at bottled water facilities, public and semi-public pools and spas, public accommodations, trailer coach parks, public schools, children’s camps, and camp grounds.

The Food Safety & Environmental Services Program recently completed their Fiscal Year 2017 annual report, which summarizes regulatory and inspection activities conducted statewide by the program and the Arizona Counties. Here are some highlights from this year’s report:

  • There were 34,821 regulated food establishments in Arizona during FY2017, which is an increase of 8.9% from the previous year.
  • There were 1,356 foodborne illness complaints received in FY2017; this represents a 4.8% decrease from FY2016.
  • Data collected over the last five years for confirmed and probable cases of enteric diseases indicate that, while infections from some pathogens are remaining stable or showing a slight decrease, infections from Campylobacter and Shigella have increased over the last 5 years.
  • The number of individuals enrolled in the ADHS Home Baked and Confectionery Goods Program increased by 1,154 registrations, bringing the total number of registrants to 6,345 at the end of FY2017.
  • There were 47 out of 74 applicants that passed the Arizona Registered Sanitarians’ Exam, resulting in a 64% pass rate.

A summary of the environmental health landscape within each county can be found in the appendices. Take a moment to look through the annual report to learn more about the vital work Environmental Health professionals engage in and how they touch your lives everyday through the work they perform.