ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you check out the City of Albuquerque’s food inspection records, you’ll notice some restaurants and markets get hit with long lists of violations, but they’re not shut down.
“People eat every day, people go to restaurants and stores every day,” said local Jesse Hopkins. Albuquerque officials said they’re no longer behind on routine food inspections, but in a recent wave of health checks at restaurants and supermarkets, they found some major red flags.
“Well, that’s a bummer,” said Jordan Payton. That was Payton’s reaction when KRQE News 13 told him that Icicles, an ice cream shop by Cottonwood Mall, was recently shut down because they failed a food inspection. The ice cream wasn’t cold enough. “Dude, I just ate there,” said Payton.
Charley’s, the Philly cheesesteak place in Coronado Mall, also shut down because of ‘imminent health hazards,’ or, sewage backup. “They shouldn’t be running their business if they’re getting people sick or die or diseases or whatever,” said Hopkins.
But what exactly does it take for the city to shut down a place? Well, that depends. Take Golden Eggroll Express and the 999 Seafood Market off Gibson near Kirtland Air Force Base. They’re still open, but with pages and pages of violations and labeled ‘not in compliance’ for everything from dirty seafood cases and ice machines, to improperly stored raw chicken and dirty prep tables. “Well, if they’re open they shouldn’t be, because if they have serious violations like that people could die and get sick,” said Hopkins
However, the city said certain types of problems carry more weight, like pest, sewage and refrigeration violations, which Icicles and Charley’s were hit with. “I, as a resident of Albuquerque, would probably check before I ate somewhere anyway,” said local Tim Brown.
Seafood places get checked more frequently because they’re considered ‘high risk’ for the potential of food-borne illnesses. But the city said each place selling food has to get inspected at least once a year. The city has a web page where you can report health concerns at restaurants or markets.