Planning & Development Services

County Conducting Virtual Food Safety Checks

Bernalillo County food safety inspectors are still on the job and conducting food safety checks via the web or by phone.  The checks are non-binding and are not inspections, but are an effort to ensure that all restaurants still operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency are maintaining proper safety standards and following the public health order.

Bernalillo County Health Protection manager Lucas Tafoya says these inspections may be more necessary than ever due to the health emergency.  “The public is doing its part to stay safe, restaurants and the county are also doing theirs to make sure everyone stays healthy,” Tafoya says.

Food safety checks are arranged with the food establishment owner or person in charge and are then conducted via phone or web camera.  The virtual check involves two employees, provided by the establishment, and a food safety inspector directing the employees what to do.  The food safety inspector has workers calibrating thermometers and then checking food temperatures, verifying cleaning processes and making sure that proper sanitary precautions, such as masks and gloves, are being taken in food establishments. 

Any deficiencies identified during the food safety checks are noted and corrective action is suggested. 

The food safety checks are being conducted at restaurants serving the public as well as residential café facilities such as retirement or long term care facilities.

Tafoya notes that virtual food safety checks will continue until the public health, stay-at-home order, is lifted by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and regular inspections can resume.

The food safety checks were established by the New Mexico Environment Department, Bernalillo County, and the City of Albuquerque have agreed to participate. 

For now, restaurants are still required to utilize only take-out ordering and delivery services to conduct business.




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