A local restaurant has been authorized to reopen after it voluntarily chose to close for a brief time following a health inspection that found several problems.
Cattleman’s Kountry Kitchen at 2010 S. Main St. underwent an annual inspection by a New Mexico Environment Department Environmental Health Bureau inspector on Wednesday morning and was cited for several unsatisfactory items.
As a result, restaurant management opted to close the business for the rest of the afternoon and night until the concerns could be addressed.
On Thursday morning, the restaurant was reinspected by the same state worker and given approval to reopen.
The restaurant’s manager chose not to be interviewed regarding the situation, saying that there was no additional information to provide besides what was contained in the state reports.
The original inspection report, dated at noon on Wednesday, indicates eight separate concerns. Those included that some food items that were supposed to be kept at 41 degrees or cooler were instead found to be at slightly higher temperatures, that a hand washing sink was improperly being used for other purposes, that a sanitizer unit was not working correctly, and that foods in the freezer were not properly labeled and dated. Dead cockroaches also had been found near food.
An Environment Department manager said that the restaurant management chose to close, which did not require public notification.
“When a restaurant closes its doors voluntarily, there is no further risk to the public, so (the Environment Department) does not take public notification steps,” Food Program Manager Johnathan Gerhardt said in an email. “When voluntarily closed, the establishment cannot reopen without NMED approval.”
That approval came the following morning.
By 10:50 a.m. Thursday, the same state inspector signed off on a report stating that all the problems had been corrected, including that food items that had been near bugs had been discarded and the area had been sanitized, with pest control services due back in the near future.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.