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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 17433
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I have been in business (bakery) since 1984. The character

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I have been in business (bakery) since 1984. The character of the business of course has changed over the years, but now I am a high quality artisan bread bakery, producing only local breads (that include locally produced grains). We sell at farmers markets all over this region (Northern New Mexico) and we have 3 employees and myself. This week an inspecter came into the business, unannounced, from the NMED. He required that from now on all the people on my premises (Cloud Cliff Bakery) should carry a 'food handler card (new)' that can be purchases at $20 per person from the NMED (essentially a new tax ) and if people don't carry this identification card the NMED will fine the business.
This is a problem for me and my business: Though I have employees, the reality is that a lot of people want to learn and apprentice from a few hours, to a few weeks.They are not professional bakers and are not hired employees, they are apprentices. They would need and identification card like this. On top of this we work together with a series of more or less handicapped people with various syndromes from Down syndrome to Ashberger etc. These part time people (3 or so) work and get a stipend but what they are really here for is to have some human contact and some physical training they would otherwise not have at all. They want to develop as human beings. I think this new requirement, the identification cards, cannot be legal and I am planning to disobey this new regulation and tax. I am a member of the ACLU and I am wondering how you think about this. Thank you so much for your attention. Willem Malten
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Your employees/apprentices do not have to have the Food Handler Card at this time. There is a one-year grace period until March 1, 2017. At that time any person that works in your establishment that handles foods and utensils must have the Card. This law is legal and does not violate your civil liberties. The law is meant to protect public health and safety. For more information on the Card, click on the links below:

https://www.env.nm.gov/fod/Food_Program/documents/FrequentlyAskedQuestionsFoodHandlerCard03022016FinalRev02.pdf

https://www.env.nm.gov/fod/Food_Program/Regulation_Update.htm