When Obsessive-Compulsive Regulators Miss the Big Picture — Illegal Pies

Regulation is a hot topic these days and appropriately so. Regardless of political position, it's become rather clear that we need to have more visibility into the practices of organizations that possess the ability to rapidly impact the financial and physical health of nations and their citizens. Determining which organizations require scrutiny and what we should do with this information once gleaned, is far more fuzzy. The Wall Street Journal last Friday published a piece on food safety. Specifically, food safety at a small church near Pittsburg in Rochester, PA.

St. Cecilia's was having their annual fundraising “Fish Fry” when "a state inspector, there for an annual checkup on the church's kitchen, spied the deserts. After it was determined that the pies were home-baked, the inspector decreed they could not be sold... 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 prepared in a state-inspected kitchen." Now this is clearly a case where St. Cecilia's would have benefited from better supplier visibility.

My personal spend management regimen includes preparing meals at least 6 nights per week and entertaining guests at home for a fraction of the cost of "dining out". As a law abiding Pennsylvania resident who entertains guests far more often than four times a year, I suppose it's time to shell out the 35 bucks for a state inspection. The thought of losing Chevy and not sharing "Mom's apple pie" is just too much change for me.

- William Busch, Spend Matters Columnist

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