November 20, 2008

Mayor clears way for festival food

St. Francis Xavier Church parishioners in Albuquerque will get to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe the old fashioned way, city officials say.

Mayor Martin Chavez told church leaders to go ahead and take their homemade posole, menudo, tamales and bizcochitors to church for the Dec. 14 celebration as they had for the past 84 years despite a city law, the Albuquerque Journal said.

The mayor also ordered the law be revised to allow churches and other groups to serve homemade dishes without violating city food-handling restrictions. He called a rigid interpretation of the city's food ordinance plain silly, the newspaper reported.

Two weeks ago, city health officials told church leaders that food-handling laws prohibited parishioners from taking home-cooked food to church to serve an expected 500 people for the feast.

Parishioners faced the possibility of canned posole and store-bought desserts before they got the reprieve. However, standing in the wings were commercial kitchens and restaurants offering to help them out, the Journal said