UPDATE: El Mezquite Market back to approved status
(posted Tuesday, Feb. 25)
LOS LUNAS-After a re-inspection Monday, Feb. 24, a Los Lunas meat market and restaurant has regained its “approved” status from the New Mexico Environment Department.
El Mezquite Market, located at 2360 Main St. NE, near the Valencia Y, was returned to “approved” status after a downgrade earlier this month.
A press release issued Tuesday by NMED states all violations have been corrected.
Violations found during an inspection on Friday, Feb. 7, included improper holding temperatures, improper storage of food/utensils/chemicals, contaminated equipment and lack of a certified food protection manager.
El Mezquite Market downgraded by NMED
(originally posted Thursday, Feb. 20)
LOS LUNAS—A Los Lunas meat market and restaurant has been downgraded to an “unsatisfactory” status by the New Mexico Environment Department after a recent compliance inspection.
El Mezquite Market, located at 2360 Main St. NE, near the Valencia Y, was downgraded after an inspection on Friday, Feb. 7.
Violations found by local inspector Katina Wilson include improper holding temperatures, improper storage of food/utensils/chemicals, contaminated equipment and lack of a certified food protection manager.
According to Wilson’s report on the meat market portion of the store, there was moldy cheese seen in the walk-in cooler, and while there were thermometers in the food cooling unit, they were placed in such a way as to indicate the temperature of the unit, not the food.
The inspector also noted she was unable to verify the market’s grinder logs and that should be addressed by a follow-up visit by the USDA.
In the restaurant portion of the store, Wilson reported while there were buckets under the steam table that were recently cleaned and switched out, there was no bleach detected in the water.
There was also a full, dirty mop bucket and floor cleaning machine sitting against pallets of masa mix in the dry storage area.
She also found there were multiple bins of food on the restaurant’s steam tables that were below the safe, hot holding temperatures and the water in some steam table compartments was low.
The inspector noted the issue with the mop bucket was a repeat finding, and the issue with the steam table temperatures was one of “multiple repeats.”
Other repeat issues Wilson documented included wet towels left on prep tables, unclean surfaces and the gas grill not being properly cleaned. She also reported the salsa bar was not at the correct temperature, and only had water under the condiment bins instead of ice.
A container of pesticide not approved for food-service establishments was found in the dry storage area, Wilson reported.
NMED will re-inspect the food establishment after proper corrective actions are taken and a request has been made by the permit holder. The “unsatisfactory” grade emblem is posted at each entrance of the facility.
Multiple messages left at the business by the News-Bulletin were not returned.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.