Air Force Unable to Hold Bake Sale to Buy Bomber

Brave public servants in Pennsylvania are protecting the people from uninspected pies:

Sold for $1 a slice, homemade pies have always been part of the Lenten fish-fry dinners at St. Cecilia's, located in this tiny city near Pittsburgh. Similar dinners are held in church basements and other venues across the country this time of year.

The problem is the pies are illegal in Pennsylvania. Under the state's food-safety code, facilities that provide food at four or more events in a year require at least a temporary eating and drinking license, and food has to be prepared in a state-inspected kitchen. Many churches have six fish fries a year, on Fridays during Lent. St. Cecilia's has always complied with having its kitchen licensed, so food made there is fine to serve. But homemade goods don't make the cut.

For those of you who want to help the war on pies but worry you don't have the chops to be a full-time food cop, don't fret. The authorities welcome the assistance of patriotic citizen-informants:

Mr. Chirdon says the pie episode has shed light on an often-overlooked aspect of food safety. "I've gotten a lot of letters from churches that are tattletaling on churches down the street that aren't licensed and don't meet standards for food service."

Unfortunately, the inspectors' fight doesn't go far enough: What about the home meal loophole? Every night across America, parents cook unlicensed dinners for their naively trusting kids, and perhaps even a guest or two. Are the kitchens dirty, the ingredients expired, the pots unwashed? We don't know! How many lives will be lost before the government steps in and says, ¡No más!?

[Via Blackstone in America.]

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  • ||

    So, no more Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners, right?

  • ||

    I've gotten a lot of letters from churches that are tattletaling on churches down the street that aren't licensed and don't meet standards for food service.

    If we had one unified Church this woudn't happen. Jesus had a point, you know, the yammerings of discontented, horny monks vandalizing cathedral doors notwithstanding.

  • ||

    Of course, the truth is that the Air Force or any other governmental entity could poison us to its heart's content. It's common folk that have to be stopped from their unregulated activities--by any means necessary.

  • ||

    Walker, you're hand-wringing and hyperventilating like a victim-mongering liberal. The difference between a church dinner and a home meal is that the church is charging money for goods and services, ie acting as a business. Got that?

    Having established that these churches do indeed operate restaurants, albeit ones with a seasonal schedule, it's really a question of establishing a level playing field.

    Now, the overall premise of food safety inspection is indeed a valid libertarian topic, but the focus of your article seems to be to carve out some sort of exemption for a particular class of establishments.

    "I've gotten a lot of letters from churches that are tattletaling on churches down the street that aren't licensed and don't meet standards for food service."

    LMFAO! This competitive behavior tells me that they are consciously operating as businesses.

  • ||

    Cue joke about the need for no knock raids and SWAT teams to bust up un licensed fish frys.

  • ||

    Every night across America, parents cook unlicensed dinners for their naively trusting kids, and perhaps even a guest or two.

    This will, thankfully, end once the Obama Youth Corps are housed in government approved barracks. After dinner they will march through the streets, singing patriotic hymns, and smashing the windows of suspected uncollectivist heretics.

  • Jesse Walker||

    The difference between a church dinner and a home meal is that the church is charging money for goods and services, ie acting as a business. Got that?

    Yes, that's the rationale for the home meal loophole. But with help from concerned citizens like you, our elected representatives can eliminate that exemption. Join us!

  • ||

    The Air Force should establish a preparedness program, in order to be ready for a giant weenie roast the next time one of their F-22s goes down.

  • ||

    It's for the public's safety.

    Fucking morons.

  • ||

    Yes, that's the rationale for the home meal loophole. But with help from concerned citizens like you, our elected representatives can eliminate that exemption. Join us!

    Fixed that for you.

  • kinnath||

    OMG, what will we do with the union folks that hold frenquent bake-sales to help the needy.

  • Vines & Cattle||

    The difference between a church dinner and a home meal is that the church is charging money for goods and services, ie acting as a business.

    I can BBQ a pig for my family and the state doesn't care if they're eating tainted, unsafe food.

    But if I charge admission for the BBQ, suddenly that food is tainted?

    When did the food become unsafe? What is it about commerce that taints food? E coli laden dollars? Germ carrying debit cards?

    If I'm killing my customers, so much for repeat business.

  • Wulf||

    When did the food become unsafe? What is it about commerce that taints food?

    It became unsafe when you stirred in a bit of that poisonous Root of All Evil. Duh.

  • Bronwyn||

    WWJR

    Who Would Jesus Report?

  • Bronwyn||

    Between this hazardous material, and the toxic pies, and banned ATVs... well, hell. May as well just outlaw picnics altogether.

  • Warty||

    located in this tiny city near Pittsburgh

    Rochester (pronounced "Rawchester") isn't a city. It's a borough (pronounced "buruh"), and I hope the church kills all the filthy subhuman yinzer inhabitants with super-salmonella (pronounced "samonilla"). Fuck you, Pittsburgh.

  • ||

    Sold for $1 a slice, homemade pies have always been part of the Lenten fish-fry dinners at St. Cecilia's, located in this tiny city near Pittsburgh. Similar dinners are held in church basements and other venues across the country this time of year.

    Can;t they just pull the old "Recommended Donation $1" canard to get around this really stupid regulation?

  • ||

    Also I wanted to add...

    PA is a fucking hell hole to live in...

    They have some of the most intrusive and mind bogglingly stupid regulations I have ever seen.

    I mean you have to go to 3 separate stores if you want to have a cookout that includes food (Grocery store), beer (Beer stores that only sell by the 24 pack or keg -- if you want 6packs you have to go to a bar and buy it), and wine/booze (you have to go to the state run liquor store)

  • Bronwyn||

    ChiTom, I can't get around CPSIA by saying my quilts are not intended for children. Both pieces of legislative crap disallow creative labeling.

  • Jennifer||

    The difference between a church dinner and a home meal is that the church is charging money for goods and services, ie acting as a business. Got that?

    Microscopic creepy-crawlies only give you food poisoning if money changes hands first. Got that?

  • Zeb||

    If you run a business, you obviously hate your customers and don't care if they get sick and die.

  • Vines & Cattle||

    Speaking of the Feds and food safety...
    Another busy day at the White House: First Lady Michelle Obama hosted students from Bancroft High School in Washington, who helped her plant and water the brand-new White House garden. She and Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to the students about the healthy fruits and veggies that would grow there. "It's all brain food," Obama said. She cheered the kids for bringing good weather and then sent them (and the press) home with cookies.
    Were these homemade cookies, or federally inspected Oreos? Someone should look into this.

  • ||

    The church probably used Dihydrogen Monoxide in those pies.

  • ||

    V&C and Jennifer:

    But if I charge admission for the BBQ, suddenly that food is tainted?

    No, but if you charge for the service then you're operating a business and subject to regulation.

    We may well question the need for such regulation, but the article was a rather lame and hysterical slippery-slope argument advocating maintaining an exemption from regulation for a certain class of well-connected non-profit organizations, not a call for total deregulation.

  • ||

    If you run a business, you obviously hate your customers and don't care if they get sick and die.

    If your business is the Peanut Corporation of America then chances are, you do not in fact give a fuck if your customers get sick and die.

  • ||

    The ironic thing about everyone attacking me for advocating licensure and regulation is that my view is pro-business. The non-profits are unfairly competing with restaurants who have to go through an onerous licensing and inspection regime. The unlicensed establishments don't have to pay labor costs, and get much of the food donated. The only advantage licensed establishments have is tax-exemption on goods purchased for resale, and access to the network of commercial foodservice distributors. Ftang!

  • perilisk||

    "Walker, you're hand-wringing and hyperventilating like a victim-mongering liberal. The difference between a church dinner and a home meal is that the church is charging money for goods and services, ie acting as a business. Got that?"

    Good point, safety is only an issue if money changes hands.

    If a puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy, is leftism the haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be engaged in commerce?

  • Jesse Walker||

    We may well question the need for such regulation, but the article was a rather lame and hysterical slippery-slope argument advocating maintaining an exemption from regulation for a certain class of well-connected non-profit organizations, not a call for total deregulation.

    If by "article" you mean "blog post," it was a call for total regulation, not deregulation. Join us, Tonio, and stop the menace of uninspected home-cooked meals!

    (If by "article" you mean the bona fide article I linked to, it didn't call for anything.)

  • ||

    Very telling that Walker is reduced to petulantly nit-picking my choice of words "blog post" vs "article," rather than addressing the actual substance of my argument.

  • ||

    my view is pro-business. The non-profits are unfairly competing with restaurants

    *sighs, bangs head on desk*

  • Bronwyn||

    Careful, P Brooks. Do you need some ice for your forehead?

  • Mike||

    Tonio: The ironic thing about everyone attacking me for advocating licensure and regulation is that my view is pro-business.

    This is only ironic if you make the assumption that libertarians advocate business interests. Libertarians advocate personal liberty. Sometimes liberty is good for business, sometimes it's not. Imagine a Venn diagram with two circles that partially overlap.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Very telling that Walker is reduced to petulantly nit-picking my choice of words "blog post" vs "article," rather than addressing the actual substance of my argument.

    Be fair! That's not all I petulantly nitpicked!

    (Serious reply: I didn't reply to your "argument" because I don't believe for a moment that you believe it yourself. I have better things to do than give detailed replies to the bait laid out by a troll.)

  • radar||

    I'll play Tonio's game if he can do one thing for me - with a straight face, please describe to me in what way a church fish fry is competition for a commercial restaurant.

  • libertarian||

    Every night across America, parents cook unlicensed dinners for their naively trusting kids, and perhaps even a guest or two.

    Will you PLEASE shut up?! This is the second blog where I've seen the "eat at home" loophole pointed out. Quit giving them ideas, would you? Please!

  • ||

    In Florida, recent regulations requiring licensed and inspected kitchens has all but killed the sale of fresh-squeezed citrus juice by the many roadside stores that dot the state. Those of you that have driven I-95/I-75 may remember the "Indian River" chain of citrus stores that are all up and down the Florida coasts. You can no longer buy fresh-squeezed juice there, but they will happily sell you whole oranges, mangoes, and other fruit, kept outside and unrefrigerated, by the sackfull.

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