PEA (Pie Enforcement Agency): its for your own good : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Countryside are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Countryside or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

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?

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Countryside are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Countryside or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

-- William in WI (, September 21, 2000


Thanks for the heads-up, Bill. I'll submit my resume with the Loudoun County Health Dept. for Peach Cobbler Pie Tester.

"If you can't lick 'em, then eat 'em. (or something like that)


-- Craig Miller (, September 21, 2000.

I'll volunteer for the cream pie division. More seriously, when did it become govenments job to make life risk free? Inform me of the possible risks and let me make my own judgement of what's best for me. All too many people are willing to give up rights in the mistaken perception that it will somehow make us "safer". Safety isn't woth it at the price of losing freedom.

-- ray s (, September 21, 2000.

As rediculous as the Pie Police are, this seems like a good place to post a warning about eating home canned food processed by someone you are not positive of their abilities.

Your high acid products are safe, but the rest need to be boiled for 10 minutes before tasting.

We had a dear sweet lady receive a couple jars of canned beets from one of her customers. She ate one right out of the jar and almost died from botulism. She was in a coma for a week, then spent another month on a respirator and is still suffering from extensive paralysis. Her life will never be the same. She has three small children and no insurance.

If the pie police show up at my house, we will deliver some slapstick silly pies.

-- Laura (, September 21, 2000.

William, is this real? sorry guys, I just got back from putting my wife in the hospitol[kidney stone-one sick girl] and trying to catch up on 'bout six diff. threads and get the kids clothes ready for school in the morning--but is this real?

-- BillyB (, September 21, 2000.

Hmmmm...let's see. I have an excellent recipe for "mouse trap pie". Stick your finger in it and see what happens! hee hee The Gov. better keep their crew on the canning factories where they're needed. Bet the factories don't have as good a safety record as most of us "risky" ladies.

Billy, sure hope your wife gets to feeling better soon. Give her our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

-- Annie (, September 21, 2000.

BillyB. I'm just a lucker but wish your wife well. I'm not the William in WI that posted this article, but its true. Couldn't believe it myself but found it on the Washington Times web site. In my youth, I actually worked at a Pie factory, only lasted about 3 weeks. I'll take any Granny pie over that stuff. Too many Bills on this thread. Bill in MN

-- Bill (sticky@2side.tape), September 21, 2000.

Thanks Annie,thanks Bill- Well if it's true,I declare my kitchen and pantry sanctuary for those oppressed pie bakers and vegatable canners. Just send any of your contraband on down and I'll hide it as best I can.---but all kiddin aside,when are people gonna figure out that we have plenty of government?-we keep moving further and further out,but they just hang on like a bad cold.

-- BillyB (, September 21, 2000.

A partner and I have recently been selling our own baked goods at local farmers markets and fall festivals (central Wisc.) and have had no problems. Before launching into this, we contacted our state dept. of ag & consumer protection. They told us that unless we were selling low acid canned goods, no one would look twice at us. In their own words, they were not the "food police". They also sent us some info in the mail regarding state regulations on doing this. A lot of pages, not a lot of helpful info. They also sent us a very user-UNfriendly web-site. I called the state to get help with the web-site and the person (3rd of 4th on the line) I finally got to talk to couldn't navigate it themselves........

-- Rose Marie Wild (, September 23, 2000.

Hubby and I camp at several living history events every year, and the crew likes me to make fry bread, and fried pies. The tourists hang around like wasps on a pop can and make drooly noises, but I am afraid to give them a bite, for fear of some legal reprucussions. Now mind you, I make a GOOD fried pie (and won camp-fire cook-offs with the results), but I can't share, except among family and friends...

-- Leann Banta (, September 26, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ