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Loudoun's Pie Police
Source: Washington Times
Published: Setember 21, 2000 Author: Editorial

These days, you can't escape the minions of government not even in your own kitchen. In Loudoun County, Va., local health officials with apparently too much time on their hands and way too much authority have been making it their business to jam their fingers into homemade pies, preserves and other delectations offered at town fairs and farmer's markets. Henceforth, anyone who wants to enter a pie into a contest or offer some pickles or canned goods to the public at a bake sale or town fair must take a county food safety course and submit to an inspection of their "facilities" (e.g., their home kitchens) before they may lawfully purvey any consumables.

Alice Dillon of Falls Church who has been canning for 15 years with nary a fatality on her hands told The Washington Post that she had to "submit her recipes to the Department of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech, open her kitchen to Virginia agriculture officials for a 'look-see' . . . and take a food preparation course."

Women like Alice Dillon have been canning goods and baking homemade pies since the days of Betsy Ross with no ill-effect upon the well-being of the nation, thank you very much.

The idea that we need food police to supervise these people and barge into their homes is enough to ruin one's appetite. "They want these little old ladies to have their kitchens inspected," said Kim Labash who is co-chair of the annual Bluemont Fair in Loudoun. According to Mrs. Labash, this year's fair "lost many of its regulars" because of the new enforcement effort.

But not according to Jim Anderton of the Loudoun Health Department. "The sale of unregulated canned goods is a risky business," he says. Yet he admits that no deaths or even illnesses linked to those "risky" unregulated foods have ever been reported in Loudoun County.

If you don't think government is becoming too much a force in our lives, just consider the Loudoun pie police. If they can stick their finger in Granny's Dutch apple cobbler, what else do you imagine they'll leave untouched?