31st August 2011
Your tax dollars at work.
She says that a couple of weeks ago a representative from the Illinois Department of Public Health came to Logan Square Kitchen and informed her she’d have to shut down if she did not get something called “a dairy license.”
Swanberg and others in her field had operated for years now without ever hearing of such a thing and, indeed, they say, the City’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, to whom they applied for business licenses, never informed them they would need one to operate.
To get this license Swanberg wrote, in an email, she would have to:
- “Work out of our own space. Currently we work out of the Logan Square Kitchen.”
- “Have our product tested once a month for bacterial levels.”
- “Change all of our packaging and labels to meet state standards.”
- “Purchase a pasteurizer, which from what the state tells me will be about $40,000 or use a pre-made ice cream mix.”
Swanberg says that the IDPH officer who visited told her that her ice cream probably wouldn’t pass the bacteria tests if she continued to use fresh strawberries. Instead the officer suggested she use “strawberry syrup,” Swanberg said.
IDPH spokesperson Melanie Arnold said that it isn’t illegal to use real strawberries but that IDPH “does not encourage it simply because when you try and clean a strawberry to make sure it doesn’t have any bacteria, it kind of deteriorates.”
So-called ‘small farmers’ have to run a similar gauntlet to sell their produce — comply with regulations deliberately crafted by lobbyists and their paid-for legislators such that ADM and Tyson Foods can afford to comply, but Yasger’s Farm has no hope.
‘We’re from the government, and we’re here to help … ourselves.’