A lot of us grew up buying corn from a dude walking around with a shopping cart, tamales from a lady’s trunk at Walmart, and hot dogs from a guy with a portable grill on the sidewalk, so it’s easy to forget that you actually need permits to sell food legally.
This mom was reminded the hard way, as she was arrested for selling her homemade ceviche through a Facebook group based in Stockton, California, according to KTLA.
Mariza Ruelas said the Facebook forum was used for locals to share recipes, potluck info, and try each others’ food.
Last December, a San Joaquin undercover investigator joined the group and asked to buy some of Ruelas’s ceviche, a popular Latin American seafood dish. Next thing you know, they cracked down on the group, as 13 members picked up misdemeanors for running a food service business without a permit.
Ruelas turned down the three years of probation deal, and decided to take things to court, risking the chance of jail time.
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kelly McDaniel told KTLA, “Food prepared in a facility that does not inspect it creates a risk to the public.”
Still, Ruelas isn’t a big fan of the DA and doesn’t mind calling her out publicly over some less-than-savory reports:
It makes sense that food sold should be properly inspected, especially when selling something like seafood, but it still feels a little petty to go after this group, who probably didn’t sell their food with malicious intent.
Everyone else took the three-year probation plea deal, but Ruelas is hoping the justice system will be on her side. If not, she can face up to a year in jail.