Off all the things to face jail time for, imagine food being one of them. In a bizarre turn of events, that’s exactly what happened to Mariza Reulas, a woman from Stockton.
So how did this happen?
All Mariza Reulas did was join a social media community food group where, according to San Joaquin County officials, she was cited for selling an illegal substance. Ironically, this substance, not a powder, pill, or a plant, was a bowl of her home-made ceviche.
While this seems like a harmless act, San Joaquin County officials say it’s against the law. She was cited for two misdemeanors – operating a food facility and engaging in business without a permit.
The full story
On December 3 of last year, someone contacted Reulas, asking for a plate of her Ceviche –- one of her signature dishes. What seemed like an innocent exchange tuened disastrous for her. That person was an undercover investigator from San Joaquin County on a sting because the majority of the group’s members didn’t have permits to sell their food.
“I don’t write the laws, I enforce them. And the legislature has felt that this is a crime,” said San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kelly McDaniel. She says selling any food not subject to health department inspection puts whoever eats it in real danger, not to mention it undercuts business owners who do get permits to make their food.