12/08/08 505-343-9848

Albuquerque City Council Considering Change to Grading System for Restaurants

Albuquerque faces increased inspection fees and a posted grading system if the mayor and city council pass proposed ordinance changes. Call your Albuquerque City Councilor now at 768-3100 and don’t forget to place a call to the Mayor at 768-3000 as well. Every call counts. Right now they are hearing from citizens supporting this measure. If you think you might support this measure read on, and get more information on our website.

Proposed changes in the food sanitation ordinance would require the inspector to post a grade in a conspicuous location in a restaurant. The grading system: “A” for 90% or higher, “B” for 80 to 89%, “C” for 70 to 79% and a grade less than 70% would result in a “U” for Unsatisfactory.

While we support food safety for the benefit of the industry and the public, we do take exception with the department’s insistence that a letter grade be issued upon completion of the inspection.  A health department inspection sheet, while a matter of public record, is really a working document that is provided by the health department to the restaurant owner and is not designed to serve as a guidepost to the general consumer as to the quality or purity of the food served in restaurants.  The fact that a restaurant is open for business indicates that no health hazard exists at that establishment.  If a food service establishment poses a risk to human health, it should be closed on the spot.

The proposed fee schedule has inherent risks of abuse as it not only doubles the fees in some cases but it also allows for inspectors to require re-inspections at a cost of $150 per inspection.


Contact the sponsor of the bill, Trudy Jones, at 768-3100 as well as the Mayor, Martin Chavez, at 768-3000 and let them know how these changes will affect your business.

Attend the hearing on the ordinance scheduled for January 12, 2009 at 5:00 PM in the committee room on the 9th floor of Albuquerque’s City Hall.


In case you are not from Albuquerque and think this is not your problem, be aware that NMRA is working with the state environment department and they are gearing up to support a grading system on a statewide basis. So give your big city brethren a hand and place your own calls to the Mayor and City Council.

The New Mexico Restaurant Association’s mission is to empower the food and beverage industry by promoting and protecting common values and interests. It has more than 1,000 members in 111 cities all over New Mexico, who join together for meetings, seminars and the hospitality industry awards to honor the industry’s top achievers. It has actively represented and promoted the food service industry in New Mexico since 1946.