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Around The Grange
Pennsylvania Grangers Rally Support for Pie Bill

By Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade (Lancaster Farming 5/7/10)

  MAY 9, 2010 --

Former National and State Grange Master Bill Steel is known as the "crust man" at Big Knob Grange #2008. His family's crust recipe is the basis for his Grange's pie sale.

Under current food safety law, if home-baked goods, such as Steel's famed pies, are not allowed to be sold in locations with state-inspected kitchens.

Tuesday, members of the Pennsylvania State Grange rallied at the state capitol presenting pies and other homemade goodies to state senators and representatives in support of the "pie bill" or Senate Bill 828, sponsored by Sen. Elder Vogel Jr.

Vogel proposed the legislation after a Beaver County church was unable to sell its home-baked pies during a Lenten fish fry. The problem, its kitchen was state inspected, the pies were not.

The bill would allow organizations to sell baked goods that were not prepared in a state inspected kitchen but would require the food items to be marked with a sticker to identify them as being prepared in a home kitchen by a member of a nonprofit or volunteer organization.

The bill was approved Wednesday by the House 189-0 and is on its way back to the Senate for concurrence. Vogel is confident the bill will pass and be sent to the governor's desk.

Steel said that bake sales are a hallmark of many Grange fundraisers, but the bill will also benefit many rural organizations such as volunteer fire companies, churches and youth civic organizations.

Vogel said the bill just made sense because it "closes a gray area" in food safety law.



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