In a recent news release from the New Mexico Environmental Department, enforcement actions will begin 1 April 2019 against all restaurants and food handling establishments required to follow the FDA Food Code. While many of the changes concern process and time/temperature control measures, the most significant change is the certification of a Food Production Manager that must be present during the preparation, storage, and handling of all food items. This requirement, although not new will now be mandatory with the exhaustion of the temporary deadline extension ending March 31, 2019. Food establishments and entities that handle food need to have completed or at least signed up for an approved class by this date to avoid any enforcement actions from the State.
Fortunately, a few Community Colleges like New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, New Mexico and Clovis Community College have stepped up to aide individuals and companies with affordable approved classes that meet the new requirements. Both colleges are offering ServSafe Food Production Manager classes both before and after the deadline in an attempt to reduce the backlog of training requests for this class.
Whether you are a full service restaurant, mobile food truck, concession stand operator, or nursing home operator you will need to have proof of completion of an approved course by the deadline. Other non-traditional entities such as booster clubs, church gatherings, cinema, caterers, hotels, or anyone that comes in contact with food many need this certification in order to serve the public. It does not make a difference whether the food is paid for or free, a Food Production Manager must be present at all times.
There will be an anticipated rush as the deadline draws near. Many classes will fill up fast and many individuals may not be able to get into a class if they wait too long. Both colleges are offering public classes as well as customized private classes. For more information contact Steve at NMJC (575) 492-0905 or Al at the Clovis Community College (575) 769-4706.
you can also signup through Terri Blandin at 575-492-4710
Unless a variance is approved as outlined below, at least one employee at each permitted food establishment that has supervisory and management responsibility and has authority to direct and control food preparation and service must be a Certified Food Protection Manager beginning April 1, 2019.