December 27, 2008, - 10:45 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Stories like this really tick me off. This is an example of big government interference extraordinaire. A disabled man who sacrificed and fought for our country is treated like dogmeat by Shasta County, California officials:
A cherished holiday tradition may be coming to an end for some Shasta County residents.
Jack Melton, 86, who has been baking and selling his pecan-laden fruitcakes from his Churn Creek Road home for the past 10 to 15 years, has been told to stop by Shasta County Department of Environmental Health officials.
Melton, a disabled World War II Navy veteran, has been told to quit selling his popular fruitcakes from his home because state law forbids the operation of an unregulated retail food business from a private home, said Fern Hastings, a senior environmental health specialist [DS: a/k/a Scrooge in drag].
“At my age, I probably need to quit anyway,” Melton said this week. “This was probably the last year I was going to do it anyway.”
Melton said he’s sure that his customers, many of whom look forward every holiday season to tasting his fruitcakes, won’t be too happy.
Hastings said Melton can continue making his fruitcakes for family and friends.
But if Melton is selling the cakes to the public – or even giving them away – he must make them in a commercial bakery kitchen that has passed a health inspection, Hastings said.
Yeah, we’ve seen some of these kitchens that pass a “health inspection.” Ever see the show, “Kitchen Nightmares”? I’ll bet this poor man’s kitchen is far more sanitary than most.
Melton could rent space in such a bakery, she said, noting that Country Entrees Take & Bake and Homemade Treats by Jan and Norene got their start that way.
Um, he’s not looking to start a mega-conglomerate, biotch. The dude is 86, and he’s just trying to eke out an existence and keep happy and active in his last days.
Melton received a telephone call from county officials about two weeks after a county inspector spotted a small sign outside his home advertising homemade fruitcakes for sale.
“I think it was the sign that got them,” Melton said. “I’m going to burn that sign.”
He also recently received a package of material, including the California retail food code, in the mail from the county.
Melton, a 47-year Redding resident and retired electrician, is proud of his fruitcakes.
He certainly puts a lot of effort, not to mention ingredients, into them, including red and green cherries, dates, candied pineapples and lots of pecans. . . .
Melton . . . admits that the money he receives from selling his fruitcakes helps supplement his Social Security income. He doesn’t receive a pension.
“It’s extra money to me,” he said. “It hurts not being able to sell my cakes.”
He sells his fruitcakes for $28 and $55, depending on their size, and sold about 160 fruitcakes last year, he said.
Until the county intervened, Melton had sold about 125 cakes this holiday season, mostly to his long-valued customers, he said.
“But I’m not doing it for the money,” Melton said. “I’m trying to help the people out. They want my cakes.”
Yes, they wanted them, until big government had to stick it’s big, fat nose into it.
It’s ridiculous. Not a single person ever complained or got sick from this man’s fruitcakes. And the income supplemented his modes Social Security income. But why encourage free enterprise from this handicapped war veteran, when we can be grinches and steal his Christmas? Nauseating.
This reminds me of how my late grandfather had to close his kosher slaughterhouse because government interference-including racist State of Michigan inspectors harassing his Black employees–made it too hard to stay in business. Under Michigan law, he had to treat dead chickens better in the slaughterhouse than my father, an eye surgeon, was required to treat live humans on the operating table. My grandfather had to put in foot-pump operated sinks, when they didn’t have those in surgery for doctors like my dad. It was absurd.
This is even worse. This man is 86. He’ll likely not have many Christmases left, and he enjoys doing this. Or rather, he enjoyed–past tense–doing it.
Until the Nanny State had to come in and “make things better.”
This man served our country–and is disabled because of it. And this is how our country “serves” him?! Sickening.
Hmmm . . . maybe he should pretend he’s converted to Islam and pretend they’re special Halal fruitcakes for post-Ramadan. Then the government would be kissing his butt. But a disabled WWII-vet–you get treated like Rodney Dangerfield. Just disgusting.
We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you.