Author Archives: Macy Fuquay

Macy Fuquay

About Macy Fuquay

My name is Macy Fuquay. I am a student at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism studying Public Relations. I am tremendously interested in social media and its affects on advertising and business development. I also hope to enter into law within the next few years.

Some Maricopa County Restaurant Employees Fail to get Food Handler's Card

Measures Taken By Maricopa County ESD Fails To Increase Number Of Employees With Food Handler’s Card

Restaurant employees in Tempe are not equipped to serve food without a food handler’s card, and the measures taken by the city are not increasing the number of employees who have obtained them.

These cards are required for all those who are responsible for handling, preparing, serving or selling food suitable for human consumption, according to the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department. These jobs also include the duties of those busing or washing dishes as well.

A food handler’s card requires the worker to test their food preparation knowledge and provides the health inspector with information as to whether or not the staff is aware of how to serve food safely. The cards can be obtained through taking a standardized exam testing the most important food safety laws.

But how secure can consumers be that the workers serving their food are certified to do so?

“You don’t know what happens back there in the kitchen,” says Sylvia Heath, Scottsdale resident and mother. “If employees aren’t following the mandated food safety rules, the customer would never know.”

Measures have been taken by the Environment Services Department to increase the number of test takers and employees with a food handler’s card, yet the city of Tempe has fallen short.

A new interactive online exam was created in September 2010 to make it easier for those with limited time, unable to take the test at a designated testing location.

Although the new system does allow more convenience, the department has seen no change in the amount of test takers since the online program began, according to the program’s supervisor Tracy Watson.

“People who would normally come into our office are taking it online, but as for the amount of people overall getting food handler’s cards, that has not changed,” Watson says.

The exam tests all the essential information any employee working in the food service industry should understand before beginning the process of serving food. Topics include the causes of food contamination and how to prevent it, appropriate employee uniform and proper food handling techniques.

“I felt no real pressure to get the license,” says Justin Poore, an employee of Duck and Decanter. “I knew the process was easy, but I wasn’t cooking the food; I was just preparing the sandwiches.”

Food safety rules are important to understand in the workplace because of the rapidly increasing cases of food-borne illnesses present in restaurants today, Watson says.

There are 48 million cases of food-borne illnesses in the United States reported each year — roughly 1 out of 6 Americans — resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although not understanding food safety poses a huge risk for customers, 
Maricopa County food inspectors only distribute marginal offenses to businesses for the lack of certified employees.

“They encourage them to get cards, but with Maricopa County and the way things are set up, it’s only marked with a minor violation if 50 percent or more of the employees do not have cards, ” Watson says.

For more information about food handler’s cards or obtaining a food handler’s card, visit the Maricopa County Environmental Service’s website or call Tracy Watson at (602) 506-6929.

The Fixx Coffee Bar, Photos: Macy Fuquay

The Fixx Coffee Bar Provides Creative Outlet For Local Artists And Musicians

A new music venue and coffee shop in Tempe is providing the local art scene with a creative outlet to display artists’ work – The Fixx Coffee Bar.The Fixx Coffee Bar, Interior

Managed by ASU student Robbie Pfeffer, 20, The Fixx is the beginning of a completely renovated Tempe and a new addition to the artistic community.

“It’s a new spot; it’s an all-ages venue for kids to come and hang out to be a part of the art community along with the underground music scene,” Pfeffer says.

The walls of The Fixx are covered in local artists’ work, each of which is completely unique from the next. From photography to a skateboard mural, the environment is set up for those interested in a place to be surrounded by people with similar tastes in music and art.

Many frequent visitors, such as ASU student Kelsey Williams, 20, can be seen lounging or studying in the dining area with a coffee in hand.

“I really like the art here,” Williams says. “I’m an art student so it’s nice to come here, look at all of it, and appreciate it.”The Fixx Coffee Bar, venue for live music and local artists in Tempe, AZ

Last year, Pfeffer got word of a local art venue, E-Joy, which had the ability to display his work and provide a few pieces for use in the store. Once E-Joy went out of business, Pfeffer searched for weeks to get his work back from the owners. When he found them, he discovered they were struggling to find a method to continue to own the space while running a functioning coffeehouse.

That is when Pfeffer had the idea of creating an outlet for showcasing local artwork, providing unforgettable coffee and housing local bands using the E-Joy location.

After receiving the approval of the owners, Pfeffer agreed to manage the project, and The Fixx became an operative business.

The space, which began as a house, has once been a bank, dentist office, Internet coffee shop and is now a coffeehouse and music venue. The bank’s vault, located in the back room still in tact, reminds the visitors of the history of the building.

The Fixx provides the Tempe community with free shows every Saturday night in the back room. The small space allows the listener to hold a closer, more intimate experience with the bands.

Local bands are allowed to sign up for a performance date and future shows will feature out-of-state bands. Future events will be posted on the Tempe Starving Artist website.

The Fixx Coffee Bar, Tempe, ArizonaSteven Totten, member of the local band Kid Sampson, played the first show The Fixx held in January.

“Robbie has been completely open to any kind of artistic medium or genre, and because of that, there has been a huge number of Tempe and Phoenix-based artists and musicians who have come to contribute,” Totten says.

With a location in the heart of Downtown Tempe, where most residents are interested in the art and music culture, Pfeffer has reason to believe they will last in this economy.

“There is a great deal more work that will be done in order to make The Fixx successful, and it will be interesting to see what happens as it grows, ” Pfeffer says.

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If You Go:

The Fixx Coffee Bar
15 E. 7th St.
Tempe, Arizona 85281