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Indoor dining at eateries endangering public health

On Thursday, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) suspended the food service permits from two restaurants in Eunice and Hobbs that opened for dine-in service in violation of the current public health orders, endangering the health of their employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food service permits were suspended from two Outlaw Grill locations at 1007 Main Street in Eunice and 521 West Navajo Drive in Hobbs.

These restaurants are operating in violation of state food safety laws and must cease all operations immediately. Failing to do so may result in additional enforcement measures. If the restaurants correct the violations, they may request that NMED reinstate their food service permit.

NMED, in conjunction with the state Attorney General, is also pursuing further enforcement against nine other restaurants around the state that continue to operate after the state suspended their food service permits earlier this month. The Office of the Attorney General filed temporary restraining orders against:

  • Pizza Inn, Carlsbad (two locations)
  • TJ’s Diner, Farmington
  • Trinity Hotel and Restaurant, Carlsbad
  • Country Family Restaurant, Farmington
  • Pizza Inn, Hobbs
  • Los Hermanitos, Farmington (two locations)
  • Casey’s, Hobbs

The Food Service 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.”

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