Skip to comments.Dept. of Agriculture stops fish fry pie sales
Posted on 03/15/2009 10:27:50 AM PDT by Glenn
ROCHESTER TWP. Louis Slima looked over the apple, cherry and blueberry pies lining the dessert table at St. Cecilias Friday fish fry, trying to pick the best one.
The trouble was, Slima, 60, of New Sewickley Township, wanted homemade raisin pie, which for years has been one of his favorites at the event.
This is the only time of year that I get them, during the Lenten season, Slima said.
Not anymore. On Feb. 27, a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspector stopped for an annual inspection at St. Cecilias kitchen in Rochester Township. The kitchen was spotless. But across the hall, the inspector caught sight of something troubling: women slicing pies, preparing to serve them to the public.
The inspector asked whether the pies had been baked in the church kitchen. They werent.
Chris L. Ryder, spokesman for the department, said the church was informed that since the pies didnt come from an inspected, licensed kitchen, they couldnt be served, according to Pennsylvania food code. Church-baked or store-bought pies are OK.
Not only pies, but things that have been jarred at home or self-butchered meat, that type of thing, Ryder said.
Any church, fair vendor or fire hall with a temporary food license serving the public on more than three occasions must be inspected each year. The agriculture department works with the state health department to perform inspections.
St. Cecilias is among many churches that host fish fries during Lent, a great fundraiser.
The Rev. Mike Greb said that for years, church women, many retired, have baked and donated pies for St. Cecilias dinners. Everything from coconut creme and apple strudel to pecan and lemon meringue pies poured in, and were their way of contributing. Greb said he sees both sides and understands the state is following procedure, but he also understands why the women are feeling as if the state overreacted.
These women are master bakers and cooks now their kitchens are suddenly suspect. Suddenly its considered dangerous.
Ryder said that if the inspector hadnt happened to see the women cutting the pies, the department wouldnt have raised the question.
During St. Cecilias checkup, the inspector also took issue with a tray of covered pirogi left on a counter overnight.
Marlene Kislock, head of the kitchen, said the cooked pirogi were left out to cool and forgotten. They were later thrown out, she said.
St. Cecilias is the only venue recently warned, but Ryder said there were 16 instances last year in which temporary licensees received warnings.
For Slima, who ended up taking home a slice of blueberry pie, it was the homemade raisin pie he really wanted, whether it was carried or dragged in on the floor, he said. A cup of coffee and raisin pie is just, whoa, he said. I miss that now.
Lent will never be the same.
We’re from the government and we’re here to help you.
The Department of Food is an inevitability if the political class is to achieve total dominance over the population.
I’ve been to more than my share of put luck dinners. Many times I didn’t serve myself from a particular dish simply because I had already visited the home of whoever prepared the dish.
Just imagine what can be accomplished with 250,000 more bureaucrats! I can’t wait for Obama’s stimulus plan to kick in, can you? /s/
The inmates are now running the asylum
>> Were from the government and were here to help you.
You beat me to it! Damn Gummn’t a$$holes.
GMTA! (Great minds...)
“Many times I didnt serve myself from a particular dish simply because I had already visited the home of whoever prepared the dish.”
LOL!!! There was a family at my church in Dallas who insisted on bringing food from their VERY UNSANITARY kitchen. One year at a Christmas Party they brought a bag of salad... a ROACH crawled out... the hostest saw it and dropped the whole mess on the floor - so it HAD to be trashed! UGH!!! We DID know where the good food came from!
Lent will never be the same.
That's because Lent is a Christian celebration and not one for "Zer0" or his pals and family.
Food Police - Gardening ping
I would not buy a pie or any home prepared food from somebody I didn’t know. For all I know their “children”, meaning pets, have free run of the kitchen. I’ve seen it. No thank you.
On the other hand it should be up to the consumer, not some nanny government agency.
In my state, Michigan, wild game dinners are common fundraisers at sportsman's clubs.
Fish and game cooked by members, served to the public.
Money collected is considered donations because wild game can't be bought or sold.
> Marlene Kislock, head of the kitchen, said the cooked pirogi were left out to cool and forgotten. They were later thrown out, she said.
Crikey! What a shameful waste! In my household there’s nothing much better than a plate of cold leftover pirogi for a midnite snack. Even if they were a day old...
Jolly bureaucrats! Why couldn’t the women just have a waiver form signed by the buyers of the pies, then everyone ought to be happy, no?
> I would not buy a pie or any home prepared food from somebody I didnt know. For all I know their children, meaning pets, have free run of the kitchen. Ive seen it. No thank you.
I understand the sentiment, but... would you buy a pie or food from say a diner that you’d never visited before?
Of course you would. How is that different?
Well..since the pies couldn’t be served because of the overzealous food inspector, perhaps the guests could express their opinions by hitting the inspector with about 25 pies!
There’s a certain justice in that.
The small distinction is that diners are inspected and I doubt that many of them have pets running loose in the kitchen.
I miss the pirogis I used to buy in Brooklyn...could you possibly give me your pirogi recipe?
If the diner is clean and has their licenses, including their health inspections, yes. If it’s not clean, no. If you only know what lurked in some kitchens you wouldn’t ever eat out.
And you trust the inspections? The same people cooking in the diner could have the same “children” at home. Sometimes the rationalizations crack me up.
But during recession they lay off police and fire but keep the chuch kitchen inspectors.
Man, I live for our church pot luck meals.
Just had a soup and sandwitch today. I have to cruise the line at least three times. The Taco Soup was a big hit today.
They find this a problem....but miss the contaminated peanuts....or imported veggies???
I do not eat home cooked food - don’t know if the people have cats at home - for example.
Something you might find interesting.
They did this where I live and we did bake everything in the kitchen for one thing and then we decided to ignore them and just personally told everyone that they should bake them at home and then we’d cut them and wrap them in the church kitchen. Some busybody from our own church ratted us out so we contacted our local state politicians and now we are able to do it. I don’t know how long it will last but they wouldn’t even let you have bake sales!
I think it is big business who is afraid you aren’t going to be buying from them but the stoopid idiots get our money for the ingredients.
I think that the USDA would be appalled by what goes on in kitchens at private homes across the country. They will probably have to shut them down and you can only eat at government kitchens.
Inspected once a year; and their ‘pets’ are liable to be of the feral, verminous variety.
And that is whether it’s a hotdog cart, roach-coach, fast-food joint, a diner, a ‘family restaurant’ or a ‘fine dining’ establishment.
Franchised is no guarantee, either; think “(W)affle House”.
When I was a kid, the ladies at St Elizabeth’s used to make Hurka and Kolbasz (Hungarian sausage) once a month. You could not get any finer.
Sad to see my beloved hometown, and the church of my childhood, in the news for such a rancid reason.
Nor, I’ll bet, could you get it anywhere else.
...but look at the Muslims making a bloody mess slaughtering and serving their “sacrifices” during Eid.
The idiot local government decided that homemade food donated to the homeless shelter could not be accepted.
So our youth group had to throw the turkey they had bought and cooked in the dumpster.
As soon as the officials were gone, the homeless folks went dumster diving for that turkey...
Sheez. Government is an A@@.
It isn’t big business. We don’t care. What do you have, maybe 4 bake sales per year? Hardly going to hurt the average grocery store. And you’re right, you do buy the ingredients from us.
I own a grocery store and am inspected by USDA twice a year (used to be four times). I am not allowed to sell anything that is not cut or made in the store.
Every hunting/holiday season, people come in asking me to butcher a carcass or slice the country ham they received as a gift. I can’t do it. USDA will shut me down.
I made and canned my own pasta sauces and sold them by the quart out of my deli. USDA shut that down because the jars did not have an ingredients list and was not inspected and approved by the state lab (in my case, UVA Medical Center). I have to send a sample along with all the ingredients and their source (where I got them from), plus pay them a large fee for approval. Wasn’t worth the hassle then but I’m thinking about doing it again.
You folks (church groups, hunt clubs, civic orgs, etc.) can do it because all you need is on one-time, local permit. No feds involved.
I entered the local Chili Cookoff a few years ago. The event had a local permit and the local Health Inspector looked at everyone’s setup. I was allowed to sell the stuff at the event but forbidden to take it back to the store and can it because I was a retailer and under USDA regs.
Sheesh, I spend as much time trying to keep up with all the federal, state, and local food laws as I do actually selling the stuff.
P.S. Send me a pie. Nothing better than home-made!!!
I would laugh, if it weren’t so tragic.
We can expect more and more of this with a Democratic administration in power as they ramp up government intervention on private citizens, always all in the name of safety and protection, but really to control every aspect of our lives.
Frankly, I would rather take my chances with zero government intervention. People are quite capable of self correction; people are quite capable of following standards to support hygiene, cleanliness, to produce healthy and safe foodstuffs. There are already plenty of laws around to follow up if a customer is hurt by someone's carelessness.
The women should have announced to the visitors they couldn’t sell the pies but they could give them away. I’ll bet if people had known the whole story they would have eaten the free pie and donated more money than if it had been sold.
We’re here to make you safe. Now, if you’ll just give us a little of what’s left of your freedom, we’ll check those pies.
I remember the good old days, when we were trusted to make up our own minds.
Our Volunteer Fire Dept used to have wonderful community fundraisers. The Health Dept stepped in and did the same thing regarding the pies. This stops fundraising.
The little Methodist Church up the road combatted the fund-raising police. They go to the CHURCH kitchen at midnight and start frying the chicken. Because it couldn’t be fried in the women’s own homes The health dept has shown up in the middle of the night to police them.
That’s right, the oppressive nanny state that is Illinois shows up to police the church ladies.
Attempt to stop fundraising for faith-based people? Can I get an Amen?
I heard Obama on the radio a couple days ago, saying that only the government can determine if food is safe.
As to somewhat understandably not being allowed to cut game or slice gift hams, try being refused slicing of packaged meat, still wrapped and in the meat-case.
Couldn't be done, because it was beef, and pork was currently being cut. FDA would require the saw and other equipment to be totally cleaned and sanitized before cutting the beef; then repeated before going back to the pork, to prevent ‘adulteration and cross-contamination’.
Wasn't the store's nor the butcher on duty's fault. Had I wanted whole pork shoulders or fresh hams sliced, would have been, and had been before, done right away. I just showed up at the wrong time that day.
Safety, yes; safetied to death, so life no longer has any savor, no. There's too much I already miss, without losing more.
Too bad bureaucrats and legislators, in a fit of self-serving zeal, outlawed tar & feathers being applied to them. To me, that should be at least as much “protected political speech”, as the the Lefty’s “anti war” and “gay rights” protesters’ antics.
“And you trust the inspections?”
You got that right. There’s a Chinese take-out kitchen where the cute little kids are part of the “ambiance”. One day I picked up an order and the kids were splashing around inside one of the large stainless sinks.
“The idiot local government decided that homemade food donated to the homeless shelter could not be accepted. So our youth group had to throw the turkey they had bought and cooked in the dumpster. As soon as the officials were gone, the homeless folks went dumster diving for that turkey...”
At least it wasn’t muffin stumps.
Will the 0’bama gov’ment soon pull Capt. Sullenberger’s Pilot’s license because he did not file the proper Flight Plan to put down in the Hudson River. /sarc
Is the area in question a blue zone or red zone? I know if a food inspector tried to pull this at my GF’s country church there’d be so much hell raised at the next County Commissioner’s meeting the Health Inspector would end up feeling like he’d received a Habanerno colonic.