Nanny State

You've Got to Fight! For Your Right! To Green Bean Casserole!

Arizona has a ban on potlucks. For real.


If you bring oranges to a potluck, maybe you should go to jail.
Credit: Accretion Disc / photo on flickr

Here's what happens when poorly written laws meet jerk-ass neighbors. The state of Arizona's food regulations exempt certain common private social functions from having to comply with all the safety requirements. These are common in most states. But for some reason, the exemption for private noncommercial potlucks only applies to workplaces. It is actually illegal in the state of Arizona to have a private potluck at home. You cannot bring your own dip made from mixing a ranch dressing packet into a tub of cream cheese to the neighbor's Super Bowl party.

One would imagine that the police and health departments probably don't go around looking for potlucks to bust up, and one would be correct. However, there's always that jerk. At Golden Acres Mobile Home Park in Apache Junction, one crank who somehow knew this one quirk in the law actually complained about community potlucks and got them shut down.

Because of that jerk, now Arizona State Rep. Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa) now has to go through the work to get the law changed and pushed back through the legislature and signed by the governor. It is HB2341-"potlucks; regulation exemption." All the bill does is simply strike out the part of the potluck rule that says "that takes place in a workplace" (and also replaces all occurrences of "assure" with "ensure" in the food regulations).

Because of the lawmaking process, it will probably take until at least summer until potlucks in Arizona become fully legal. So if you're one of those jerk neighbors in Arizona and the family down the street is playing loud music too late, keep an eye on when they've got a party and you're not invited. You know what to do.