Indoor dining at eateries endangering public health
The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) on Tuesday suspended food permits from four restaurants that opened for dine-in service in violation of the current public health orders, endangering the health of their employees and customers.
All the establishments provided dine-in service to customers, which presents a public health risk to employees and customers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last week, 15% of all rapid responses were at restaurants due to an employee testing positive for COVID,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “We are grateful to the hundreds of food establishments around the state who are committed to protecting their employees, customers and their industry.”
NMED suspended food service permits from:
Pizza Inn, 1210 W. Pierce Street, Carlsbad
Pizza Inn, 1943 N. Grimes, Hobbs
Pizza Inn, 3005 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad
Trinity Hotel, 201 S. Canal. Carlsbad
These restaurants must cease all operations immediately. Failing to do so may result in legal action from the Department. If the restaurants correct the violations, they may request that NMED reinstate their food service permit.
In addition, NMED inspected two Weck’s restaurants located in Santa Fe and Farmington which were operating in violation by providing dine-in service, on Tuesday. Upon inspection, the restaurant management immediately agreed to comply and ceased indoor dining. Further action may be taken by the Department.
The Food Service and Sanitation Act (NMSA 1978, Section 25-1-9) authorizes NMED to immediately suspend a permit if “conditions within a food service establishment present a substantial danger of illness, serious physical harm or death to consumers who might patronize the food service establishment”.