Operations at Silver City, Ruidoso eateries endangering public health

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) suspended food permits from two restaurants that opened for dine-in service in violation of the Food Service and Sanitation Act. 

Jalisco Cafe in Silver City and Anaheim Jacks in Ruidoso were served notifications of the suspensions by NMED on Friday. Dine-in service is prohibited under the state’s public health order.

“When any business presents an imminent risk to public health or the environment, the Department will not hesitate to use all of its authorities to protect New Mexicans,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “Unlike these two businesses, the vast majority of restaurants are operating in compliance and protecting public health from the threat of COVID-19.”

“The New Mexico Restaurant Association does not support restaurants opening against the Governor’s orders,” said Carol Wight, Chief Executive Officer of the New Mexico Restaurant Association.

The two restaurants must cease providing food service immediately. Failing to do so may result in legal action from the Department. If these establishments correct the violations, they may request that NMED reinstate their food service permit.

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.”

If you suspect a violation of the public health order, email covid.enforcement@state.nm.us or call your local public safety non-emergency line.