Last week, the New Mexico Restaurant Association, represented by its CEO Carol Wight, Director of Education Tom Schuch, and Government Affairs Director Kristen Thomson, held a meeting with the Albuquerque Environment Department. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent reports categorizing restaurants as red or green, particularly focusing on the issue of restaurant closures. During the meeting, it was brought to our attention that a significant number of closures were due to uncontrollable bug infestations. Interestingly, many of the closed restaurants had employed the same pest control company, which was found to be ineffective in their spraying efforts.

We also took the opportunity to discuss the forthcoming changes to the Model Food Code with the department. They acknowledged that these updates would be completed in time for a City Council vote next spring. Additionally, we inquired about fees and potential increases associated with compliance.

Our interaction with the Division Manager and Health Supervisor was pleasant, as they expressed their commitment to keeping restaurants operational. However, they stressed the importance of restaurant owners and staff following the established rules to achieve this goal.

Here is a link to all of the Albuquerque food safety resources, including a Pest Flyer distributed by the department and inspection reports translated into different languages. We value the experiences of our members and invite you to share any instances where you feel you have been treated unfairly. Your feedback is crucial as we work towards addressing these concerns and fostering a fair and supportive environment for all.