Based on the tone of this article, I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to feel sorry for those engaged in “Chicagoâ€™s rich and beloved artisanal ice cream scene.” Instead, I’m rolling my eyes and telling them to cry my a freakin’ river. Sympathy is the last thing these folks get from me in this case.
Apparently, the darling of this “artisanal ice cream scene” is in trouble with authorities for operating without the correct licenses and distributing her products to supermarkets without following basic food safety guidelines set by the state. Instead of thanking her lucky stars they don’t appear to be going after her with massive fines for said operations, she’s crying to the media that she shouldn’t have to follow these food safety regulations that also apply to “massive creameries,” aka her competition.
She laments that she is being asked to test for bacteria, use a pasteurizer, meet state mandates for labeling of what’s in her food products, and get the licenses that all businesses in her field are required to have. The article leans toward demanding an exemption for small makers who are selling the same way those evil “massive creameries” sell. Except what happens when people end up sick from this artisanal ice cream? Will the people who demand more regulations when it happens be willing to turn a blind eye because it’s a small producer who willing ignored the law?
The story does raise some reasonable issues that most people can sympathize with, like the fact that you can’t possibly wash a strawberry enough to bring it in line with bacteria tests without seriously degrading it. But the maker only wants the exemption for herself so she can use “fresh organic cream blended with local and often organic produce like basil and strawberries she picks herself.” She doesn’t raise the fact that maybe it’s a problem when no ice cream maker can use strawberries that any sane person would consider “clean” enough to eat.
In an ideal world that embraces the compromise of real world politics, she would be free to continue to sell her products however she sees fit to make them as long as there is some kind of label that clearly states she isn’t honoring state food safety guidelines. Until that ideal world happens, I say good for the regulators for making a damn fine point: “Indeed, IDPH confirmed that these small operations are governed by the very same rules that apply to billion dollar ice cream companies.”
If changes to the regulations apply to one, they should apply to all. (via Ian Argent)