Food Protection & Safety
Review the 2013 Food Code → [PDF] [HTML]
Food Protection & Safety Program
The mission of the Gila County Environmental Health Services is to protect the health of all Gila County residents and visitors. Our goal is to ensure that all food produced, prepared and offered to the public is wholesome, honestly presented and safe for consumption. To fulfill our mission and goal, we conduct a food safety program that includes requirements for food establishment plan review and approval, permit to operate, ongoing inspection, and investigation of complaints of foodborne illness. We have developed this website as part of our continuing effort to educate and inform the public on matters related to food safety and Gila County.
The Arizona Food Code requires that anyone wishing to operate a food establishment in the State of Arizona first obtain a permit to do so. In Gila County, these permits are issued following a review of food facility plans and menu and assuring, by inspection, compliance with the food safety standards and practices contained in the 2013 FDA Food Code. Routine inspections of each food establishment permitted by the Environmental Health Services are conducted throughout the year to evaluate the facility’s success in assuring that all food operations are being conducted in a safe and sanitary manner, and in compliance with the Food Code.
If deficiencies are observed during these routine inspections, they are described in an inspection report with reference to a relevant section of the Arizona Food Code, the observations made by the inspector during the inspection and the corrective action taken. Such deficiencies are typically classified as either priority or priority foundation items, which are items that are more likely than other code provision items to contribute to foodborne illness, core items, and items representing a failure of good retail practices.
Gila County Environmental Health Services subscribes to the notion that the ultimate responsibility for food safety in our food facilities rests with the facility operator who must have a solid understanding of foodborne disease prevention in the food service setting as well as knowledge of proper food handling techniques and practices.
Food Establishment Categorization & Inspection Frequency
The 2013 FDA Food Code provides for the categorization of food establishments based on the nature and scope of the food operation, types of food served, the preparation steps these foods require, the volume of food prepared, and the population served. Food establishments in Gila County are classified as Type I, Type II, Type III & IV establishments in accordance with this categorization scheme.
Type I establishments may include bars with no food service, popcorn or snow cone operations, candy sales, convenience markets with food prep limited to the heating and holding of hot dogs, and retail food stores (excluding deli and seafood operations).
Type III establishments may include full service restaurants doing advanced food preparation, restaurants doing catering; caterers, correctional facilities, school cafeterias doing high volume meal preparation, and retail food store deli’s and seafood market operations.
Food Safety Videos and ResourcesCleaning and Washing (USDA) [Video]
Cross Contamination (USDA) [Video]
Thawing Foods Properly (USDA) [Video]
More food safety videos from the USDA can be found here.
Employee Illness: The Flowchart: Use this diagram to help you determine whether an employee should be restricted or excluded from food handling at your facility.
Quick Reference Temperature Guide
Introduction to Food Safety
Preventing Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Infographic → [PDF] [HTML]
Contributing Factors: Causes of Goodborne Illness Infographic → [PDF] [HTML]
Preventing Food Poisoning [English] [Spanish]
Food Safety Video
Would you like to receive emails when there are food recalls that may effect you here in Gila County? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on this email list. Please place "Food Recall" in the subject line and "Add me" in the body of the email.
Would you like Gila County to come to your facility to provide any training to your staff? Handwashing, temperatures, preventing contamination of food and equipment, handling ready-to-eat foods... Please email us at email@example.com.