AZDHA How safe are your Edibles
AZDHS who is responsible for checking Kitchens that provide food to the public and grading them based on that inspection and past inspections. Does not do inspection on Dispensary Kitchens.
Give you a little background on how I came to know about his problem. Recently, there was a recall from Flourish that was issued by the Coconino County and the Arizona Department of Health Services. Emails were sent out to the database that AZDHS has.
Second Email sent out to my email address on 2/1/17
Second Notice – Consumer Announcement:
Voluntary Recall of Flourish Edible Medical Marijuana Products
January 31, 2017
A nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary located in Coconino County, Arizona is voluntarily recalling several medical marijuana edible products because the products have not been tested for pathogens.
The recalled marijuana edible products include all products that have been processed and packaged in jars and containers for sale to the consumer sold under the product name ¿Flourish.¿ The recalled Flourish products include:
Marinara Pasta Sauce ( Marynana Pasta Sauce)
Hot Sauce (Red Fresno Pepper Hot Sauce)
Honey Dejon Mustard
Spicy Ketchup (Sriracha Ketchup)
The Coconino County Public Health Services District is investigating the situation and working with Arizona Department of Health Services Special Licensing to notify dispensaries located throughout Arizona where the potentially contaminated products were distributed or sold. Flourish products that have been recalled have been distributed to the following medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona:
All Greens Surprise
Arizona Cannabis Society El Mirage
AZ Grass Roots Scottsdale
Desert Rose Phoenix
Downtown Dispensary Tucson
Encanto Green Cross Phoenix
Farm Fresh Lake Havasu
Greenpharm – Mesa
Greenpharm – Flagstaff
Health for Life – East
Health for Life – North
Herbal Wellness Center Phoenix
High Mountain Health Flagstaff
Medicine Room Winslow
Monarch Wellness Center Scottsdale
Nature Med Inc Tucson
Nature’s AZ Medicines – Phoenix
Nature’s AZ Medicines – F. Hills Fountain Hills
Nature’s Wonder Apache Junction
Reef Queen Creek
SWC Medical Center Tempe
Sunflower Meds – Ahwatukee
Sunflower Meds – Mesa
The Holistic Center Cave Creek
The Nirvana Center Phoenix
Urban Greenhouse Phoenix
White Mountain Health Center Sun City
Yavapai Herbal Services – Cottonwood
Yavapai Herbal Services – Prescott
Consumers who have purchased the products are advised to avoid consuming the products. Recalled products should be returned to the place of purchase. Flourish Cannabis will reimburse the selling dispensaries for all returned Flourish products. Please work with your dispensary for product refunds.
People experiencing gastrointestinal illness after consuming these products should seek immediate medical attention.
Information is available on the Flourish Cannabis website at http://www.flourishcannabis.com/find-us/, by calling 480-420-0772 or by email to email@example.com.
I thought they would put in either of the two county health department websites and/or social media. When I went to both social medias and both websites I found nothing. There was no post making the public aware of the problem. It seemed like they were not putting Medical Marijuana Food Product recalls announcements on their social media or website.
Its a food product?
It gets prepared by people?
Its for public consumption? Why not?
I then started wondering if I could find a list of the A – F grades that normal restaurants get for their kitchen performance and compliance. I called and asked a few people if I could get a list of the dispensary kitchen grade.
First lady told me that she was unable to give me that information based on it falls under the Medical Privacy act. As I explain to her, I was asking information about their kitchen inspections and food handlers cards.
I got forward to the manager of AZDHS Medical Marijuana Department and he was very helpful. He informed me that he did not have that information and I would have to call the Maricopa County Inspection office to find out. Then he said they will not know either because they do not inspect kitchen that dispensaries own.
I asked him how that could be, they were the Arizona Department of Health Services. How could they not be inspecting kitchens? He agree with me.
Surprising right.. well it gets better.
Think about it.. if AZDHS do not do kitchen inspections. Then they are not making their employees get food handlers cards. So, if dispensary kitchens are not getting food handlers cards how do they know the general practices of handling food destine for the public.
That leads back to the Flourish recall. In the article in AZ Central. Where the health officials were doing a visit to Flourish for a standard health check and noticed the marinara sauce was being canned and not refrigerated. This is a standard practice under the county requirements. If they have had food handlers cards they would have known that.
Well since they do not get inspected like all other kitchens that serve products to the public and they do not need to have a food handlers card. Why would they know any different?
Well how safe do you think your edibles are now?