One girl’s entrepreneurial dream can be a health inspector’s poison.
Two weeks ago in Portland, Ore., health inspectors shut down a 7-year-old girls’ lemonade stand.
The little girl was selling glasses of lemonade for 50 cents at a local art fair. Her crime? She didn’t have a $120 temporary restaurant license, the Oregonian newspaper reported. A health inspector told the girl and her mom that they’d have to shut down the stand or get nailed with a $500 fine.
“I understand the reason behind what they’re doing and it’s a neighborhood event, and they’re trying to generate revenue,” Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the Multnomah County Health Department, told the paper. “But we still need to put the public’s health first.”
How big a risk was the rogue lemonade concession? Well, there was a reported outbreak of stomach flu at a Florida shrimp festival in 2007, when at least 48 people got sick after drinking lemonade sold at stand run high school cheerleaders.
In 2003, some people got sick to their stomachs at a family reunion in a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tests found a type of E. coli bacteria that’s nothing but trouble. Investigators cited lemonade made with untreated water as the culprit, but there were some other foods and beverages that might have involved.