Restaurant Inspection Outcomes – Metropolis of Albuquerque

Information on restaurant inspections and inspection results.

Albuquerque Restaurants & Food Inspection

What is a restaurant inspection?

Routine food plant inspections are a “snapshot” of food safety on the day they are performed. Critical and non-critical violations are recorded on an inspection form. Critical violations are factors that have been identified as having the potential to cause a food-borne disease. Most critical violations are usually corrected on-site. However, some critical violations require additional time to comply.

What is the difference between a red and a green sticker?

All catering establishments must display the current quality sticker in a visible place. You can usually see the note on the front door at eye level or below. Some restaurants with drive-thru also display the note on their outer menu bar.

If you see a green approved sticker, it means that a food service establishment received a pass rating from the food safety specialists on its last inspection. This means that they have demonstrated skills and knowledge in creating a safe and hygienic environment for food service.

If you see a red unsatisfactory sticker, it means that the hospitality industry has been downgraded for non-compliance with the food hygiene ordinance.

Catering establishments can continue to work with a red sticker. However, downgraded hospitality establishments have five (5) days to contact us for a re-examination before we suspend their license to operate. Most food service facilities correct the critical violations and contact us within 24 hours. If a food service establishment is downgraded more than three times in a three-year period, its license is immediately suspended.

How often are restaurants inspected?

All food permits are reviewed at least twice a year.

Has the food inspection form changed?

Yes it has been updated. The Albuquerque City Environmental Health Agency approved the 2009 FDA Food Code in October 2010. The city’s food hygiene ordinance reflects the latest in food science aimed at ensuring public health and safety.

After two years of “smooth transition”, the city has also updated its food inspection form to better comply with the adopted code. The updated form is very similar to the previous form for the most part, but the updated form requires the inspector to be more thorough in documenting his observations. The most noticeable change concerns the supervision and health of employees. The responsible person must be present at the facility and demonstrate adequate knowledge of the safe handling of food for the facility in question. There are three ways to demonstrate this knowledge – but you only need one! Attend certified training (e.g. Serve Safe from the NMRA). receive an inspection with no “critical” or “major” violations; OR speak to the inspector and provide sufficient information to indicate your knowledge of food safety and disease prevention.

The inspector will also document that there is a plan in place in the facility showing that every employee is aware of the 6 reportable diseases (Norovirus, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella spp., E. coli, Shigella and Hepatitis A virus) – all known to cause foodborne illnesses and that each employee agrees to notify their responsible person if they suffer from any of these illnesses.

The City of Albuquerque has information and sample FDA forms that the industry can use to meet these requirements and ensure compliance with the 2009 FDA Food Code. For assistance please call 505-768-2643.

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