News Item:
Freshly baked handouts forbidden in Fairfax County

Winter is approaching.  The soup kitchens are gearing up.  The populations of homeless shelters always rise when temperatures fall.  This year, in DC, the shelters will still be there, there will still be a place for the less fortunate to get in out of the cold, but there might not be much food for them to eat, because the health inspectors have stepped in.

A lot of shelters that are run by charitable groups depend on volunteers who prepare meals in their homes, and then bring the food to the facility.  If you’ve been one of those people, you can’t do that anymore, unless the kitchen in your house has been approved by the Department of Health.

Yes, you read that right.  Don’t bother making the meatloaf, don’t waste your time lighting the oven to bake that ham.  Your food has been deemed as unsafe.  Don’t get upset though, because it’s not just you.  The shelters themselves now have to meet commercial restaurant standards.  That means regular inspections and certification by the Health Department.  That means expensive commercial grade refridgeration units.  That means high-end, three compartment sinks, for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing dishes, and an extra sink just for washing hands.

This may all sound good in theory, since it’s meant to protect those whose health could already be fragile, but theory and reality have a habit of colliding, and that’s what has happened in this case.  The Health Department is concerned about possible food poisoning in the shelters, yet they’re talking about people who sometimes have to eat out of dumpsters.  Wouldn’t mom’s apple pie be safer than that?

Full Story: Washington Post

Cartoon from Sid in the City

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