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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Food police coming soon to a home near you 
(en francais)

Prime example of our ever expanding nanny state run amok. I hadn't even realized that the local health unit had moved into inspecting church suppers. Not content, it's on to school fundraisers.

This is just getting ridiculous. If you want to hold a pasta fundraiser for a worthy cause at your church now you have to call the Health Unit and have the facilities inspected prior to the event.

At the rate we're going, I'll need to inform the Health unit when my nieces and nephews are coming for a visit.

This isn't public safety any more, it's public harassment.
Food police target schools(subscription only)
Crackdown on church suppers to be extended, health unit says

Sharon Hill, Windsor Star
Published: Thursday, May 25, 2006

COTTAM - The health unit crackdown on homemade food served at church suppers is coming to schools next.

Deb Bennett, director of health protection with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, said she received several calls this week from parents who were concerned about food served at schools after hearing about the food safety push with churches.

"It's coming," she told a group of about 50 people who gathered at the Cottam United Church Wednesday.

Bennett said the health unit wants to meet with school boards and start its "education component" before the next school year.

Health unit officials said meat and some pies cannot be cooked at home and then served or sold to the public. Because the health unit can't inspect private homes, food must be prepared at a church or hall that can be inspected. Churches could work together or with restaurants to prepare food for church suppers.

Some sugary baked goods such as cupcakes and fruit pies aren't an issue. Other pies from meat to cream are considered "hazardous" and can't be cooked at home and sold.

The health unit wants churches and fraternal organizations to give notice and get inspections before events such as dinners where tickets are sold. Church events for members, such as a lunch after the service or after a funeral, aren't a problem.

Beth Cooper, vice-chairwoman of the local public school board, said she's all for public safety but wondered how the health unit's enforcement of rules might affect fundraising through bake sales. She said it's getting harder and harder for schools to raise money.

Catholic school board Trustee Mary DiMenna said it could affect some potluck lunches or ethnic events where parents bring in food. But she doubted it would be a big issue since much of the food brought in for children comes from restaurants and fewer schools in her area hold bake sales.

DiMenna said she hasn't heard of children in her area getting sick from food served at school.

Cottam United Church may still be able to serve its American Thanksgiving dinner after all.

After hearing from the health unit Wednesday, organizers are looking for places to cook 46 to 48 turkeys that can't be prepared in people's homes.

And if they choose fruit pies, they could make the 300 pies needed in homes. The church has to decide if it's going ahead with the event by early June so it can order the turkeys.

Paul Synnott at 6:00 AM    | en francais | Go to Top|


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