- ROCHESTER TWP. - There may be a way to bring back the homemade apple strudel, raisin, coconut creme and lemon meringue pies people have grown to love at St. Cecilia Catholic Church's fish fry.
Bill Chirdon, director of food safety for the state Department of Agriculture, said hundreds of people across Pennsylvania bake from home and sell those goods to the public. All it takes is an inspection.
"There's a law that you can do that in your home - if you can pass an inspection," he said.
During an annual inspection of St. Cecilia's kitchen last
month, an inspector saw women slicing pies and asked whether the goods had been baked in the church kitchen.
They hadn't. The Rochester Township church was informed that the pies couldn't be served because they didn't come from an inspected kitchen, according to the state's food code.
Since then, sales of homemade baked goods donated by parishioners have ceased while the church is instead selling store-bought pies, cakes and doughnuts.
In the meantime, St. Cecilia's has received an outpouring of support, with many likening the food inspector to gestapo.
"You're going to worry about some little old lady's kitchen?" said Joe Sitko Jr., 60, of Industry, who had just sat down to dinner Friday at St. Cecilia. "I would compare the cleanliness of their kitchens any day against
any factory baking desserts."
A $35 fee allows the household to become a bakery for one year...
You know, I'm reminded of instances like these when people try to tell me that the government has better things to do than to spy on its own citizens - i.e. you have nothing to worry about if you're not a terrorist. You would think these people had better, more important and productive things to do than tell old ladies at churches they can't bake their own pies for charity unless they give their government $35 for permission to use their own kitchens.