Flickr.com photo by lucianvenutian
The Elkhart County Health Department told a man and a woman not to make and sell tamales.
Someone complained to the health department about:
• Luis Alfara of Goshen, who was selling tamales out of a cooler in front of 212 N. Main St., Goshen.
• Juana Quintero of Elkhart, who was selling cooked corn and tamales out of a cooler in front of 240 E. Jackson Blvd., Elkhart.
Neither had a food service license.
So they can’t sell food again until they’d get one, according to the health department. And that wouldn’t likely happen without a licensed kitchen.
In other countries, making some food at home and selling it along the street is fine, legal and even a way of life. I still remember fondly the tortillas with cheese, guacamole and cabbage that were easy to find in Guatemala. And the fried chicken. And the dumplings made with plantains. I still remember the happiness, no, even the joy I felt at eating ceviche that was prepared on the tailgate of a Datsun.
But in the United States, particularly Elkhart County, you don’t make and sell food without a license. It is what it is. The health department acts to keep people safe.
But if I’m buying tamales out of a cooler along the street, I’m assuming the risk. I know that it may be made differently than in a restaurant. That may be better or worse. But I’ll assume the risk.
By the way, the Alco Discount Store, 1538 E. Market St., Nappanee, can now sell “prepackaged, potentially hazardous foods.” It was caught for selling without a license.