Marianas Variety

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    Tuesday, March 26, 2019-4:31:04P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Water reservoir testing update

(CHCC) — The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s Bureau of Environmental Health, the CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are completing final water testing outreach at food service establishments.

Since the start of outreach activities on Dec. 3, 2018, 149 food service establishments have received water testing on reservoirs or other onsite water sources.

The latest sampling results are listed below:

  • • 68 (46 percent) were negative for Total Coliform or TC and E. coli
  • • 60 (40 percent) were positive for TC presence
  • • 21 (14 percent) were positive for E. coli presence

Of the establishments positive for E. coli, 11 were placed under temporary suspension. All previously suspended establishments have corrected deficiencies and now meet safe drinking water standards.

During visits, BEH and BECQ evaluate the condition of onsite water reservoirs, including distribution lines and kitchen taps, to identify potential sources of contamination and provide outreach/education to mitigate and prevent foodborne illnesses.

Common deficiencies that have led to TC or E. coli findings in water samples include damaged or open tanks, mixing water supply with untreated rainwater, and using unsanitary rags/cloths as filters on kitchen taps.

BEH’s decision to close a food establishment occurs when the establishment’s water testing result is positive for E. coli and there is no alternative source of clean, running water. Temporary closure is necessary to allow establishment time to properly clean and disinfect tanks and distribution lines.

BEH does provide technical assistance to these closed establishments. Once these establishments have complied with the recommended cleaning and sanitizing procedures, they are able to request for retesting by BECQ or other certified water laboratories.

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