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Applying for Food Permits

The Food Safety Bureau issues permits to retail food establishments and food manufacturing operations to ensure health and safety measures are followed. The program also ensures food safety at events where food is served, like fairs. You may also be required to have a food handler card.

The Food Program does not have jurisdiction in Bernalillo County and Albuquerque, as they have their own food safety programs.

What types of establishments need to be permitted?

If you are preparing food and serving it directly to customers (retail food) or if you are producing food for sale to other businesses (manufactured food), a food permit from the Environment Department is required.

Staff are available to assist you throughout the permitting process. Please contact us for assistance.

Establishments that require a retail food permit include:

  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Food trucks
  • Coffee shops
  • Bars
  • Temporary food events (festivals, fundraisers, etc.)

The retail food permit application required to serve food directly to customers is available here.

The temporary food event permit application is available here.

If your restaurant is permitted but you would like to begin selling products to other businesses, you must also obtain a food manufacturing permit.

The food permit application is available here.

Once you complete your retail or temporary event food permit application, contact your nearest Environment Department field office. Staff will provide instructions on how to submit your application, set up an opening inspection and pay permit fees.

Establishments that require a manufactured food permit include:

  • Restaurants serving customers and selling products to other businesses
  • Dedicated manufacturers producing food products for sale to other businesses

The manufactured food permit application to produce food for sale to other businesses is available here.

Once you complete your manufactured food permit application contact the Manufactured Food Team. The team will provide instructions on how to submit your application, set up an opening inspection and pay permit fees.

Do I need a Food Handlers Card?

People who handle food, utensils, and food contact surfaces who do not qualify for an exemption as outlined below must have a food handler card obtained through an accredited food handler training program.

You do not need a food handler card if:

  • You possess a valid Certified Food Protection Manager certification
  • You only handle non-Time and Temperature Control for Safety Foods
  • You only occasionally function as a food employee (i.e. restaurant hosts, teachers assisting with family-style dining, nurses or therapists assisting patients)
  • You are working at a temporary event. The person in charge of the temporary event must have a food handler card or be a Certified Food Protection Manager
  • NMED approves your employer to administer its own food safety training program

Facilities and events must provide all exempt individuals with basic food safety training and keep record of the training. NMED offers training materials located on our Forms page.

Do I need a Certified Food Protection Manager?

Yes, 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 from an accredited program.

Each permitted facility will not require a Certified Food Protection Manager when:

  • A Certified Food Protection Manager is permitted to be responsible for more than a single food establishment with an approved variance.
  • A Certified Food Protection Manager is not required for manufactured food facilities.

Food Safety Bureau Field Office Contacts

Alamogordo: Alamogordo.ehb@state.nm.us
Albuquerque: Albuquerque.ehb@state.nm.us
Carlsbad: Carlsbad.ehb@state.nm.us
Clovis: Clovis.ehb@state.nm.us
Deming: Deming.ehb@state.nm.us
Espanola: Espanola.ehb@state.nm.us
Ruidoso: Ruidoso.ehb@state.nm.us
Farmington: Farmington.ehb@state.nm.us
Gallup: Gallup.ehb@state.nm.us
Hobbs: Hobbs.ehb@state.nm.us
Las Cruces: LasCruces.ehb@state.nm.us
Las Vegas: LasVegas.ehb@state.nm.us
Los Lunas: LosLunas.ehb@state.nm.us
Milan: Milan.ehb@state.nm.us
Raton: Raton.ehb@state.nm.us
Rio Rancho: Riorancho.ehb@state.nm.us
Roswell: Roswell.ehb@state.nm.us
Santa Fe: SantaFe.ehb@state.nm.us
Silver City: SilverCity.ehb@state.nm.us
Socorro: Socorro.ehb@state.nm.us
Taos: Taos.ehb@state.nm.us
Tucumcari: Tucumcari.ehb@state.nm.us
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