On the alert for expired food-handling licenses

Raymond Chen

Since the lines at warehouse-style stores are always ridiculously long, I like to pass the time by checking out the legally required postings of food-handling and related licenses. Usually, two or three of their licenses have expired. It could be their seafood license, or their raw meat license, or their bakery license, it’s always a surprise each time I visit. When I point this out to someone, they usually just say, “Oh, um, you’ll have to ask the main office.” And when I ask the main office, they usually say, “Um, everything is just fine. The store was just slow to post the new licenses.” In other words, nobody wants to take responsibility for breaking the law. Maybe I should just report them to the health department. Or get some tips from this book.

Mind you, the bulletin board in our building hasn’t updated its license to employ minors since it expired in 2000. I’ve pointed this out multiple times to our personnel department, and they assure me that they’ll get right on it and post the new license, but it has yet to happen. When I sent them a reminder a few days ago, the response was disbelief, because some other “they” was supposed to have taken care of it. We’ll see if anything changes.


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