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Excuse me, but yes, I would like to hang them all

Allotment holders have been banned from donating home-grown vegetables and jam to local hospice – because the gifts breach health and safety rules

No, you\’re still allowed to donate for the patients to eat: after all, they are already dying. No, it\’s this:

For years amateur gardeners at Botcherby Paddock, Carlisle, have donated their produce to Eden Valley Hospice to sell at its city centre shops.

But hospice managers told them this week they would not take any more because it contravened health regulations.

And in detail:

The Food Standards Agency\’s Food Labelling Regulations insist that packaged products sold regularly to the public must have stated on them: the name of the food; a list of ingredients in descending weight order; percentages to show what proportion of the food each ingredient make up; a best before or use by date; storage instructions; name and address of the manufacturer, packer or seller; \’how-to-use\’ instructions and place of origin.

The FSA said: \”The rules don\’t apply to food that isn\’t prepared as part of a business. So this means that most food being sold for charity won\’t need to be labelled, including food sold at one-off events such as church fetes and school fairs.

\”But if you regularly sell packaged food for charity, for example, jars of jam or boxed cakes, you might have to follow the regulations.\”

Now yes, these are EU regulations and no, there\’s nothing we can do about it. But it\’s not (solely) the EU that is the target or cause of my ire here.

There really are people (people that is, not that mutant race known as bureuacrats) who really do believe that all of life must be labelled. Organised, regulated, \”acceptable\”.

To such there is no room at all for the messy variability of small scale production, of experimentation, of innovation (see the precautionary principle for more examples of this). There\’s no room in their world view for peeps simply to be peeps.

And I say the hell with the lot of them. They can take their monstrous regimentation and clutch it to their shrivelled breasts as we throttle them slowly from the lamp posts.

There is a lady here in her 90s who has made jam for the hospice for years and she is devastated.

What the hell is wrong with these people? Fuck off and go and catalogue your paperclip collection and stop treating people as things to be catalogued.

7 thoughts on “Excuse me, but yes, I would like to hang them all”

  1. I really don’t understand why they don’t just ignore the FSA advice.

    Years ago I worked in an office where the overhead neon lighting strip was flickering in a very irritating way, for hours on end. We complained and were told that “services were on to the problem”. After an afternoon of this I lost my temper and got on the desk to deal with it, whereupon I was barked at that I was contravening health and safety and should, literally, stand down. Needless to say I ignored this advice, jiggled the tube a couple of times and fixed the problem. My reward was to be bawled out by the boss for five minutes.

    Such is the culture we have created for ourselves; a nation of people sitting under flickering lights waiting for someone else to deal with the problem. But someone else never does.

  2. “these are EU regulations and no, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

    Yes we can. We can ignore the rules. Just like most other European countries do. It’s the UK’s habit of gold plating EU regulations which brings the EU into disrepute. Understand the point about the regulations, follow the spirit, but don’t follow the letter. Understand that sometimes it’s easier, better, cheaper, more efficent, friendlier, less bureaucratic, less dangerous, healthier to not follow a regulation to the letter.

    Those who do follow such regulation to the letter are those who don’t have a mind of their own. They’ve been brought up to follow the rules of the State and have been treated like helpless children and so react like helpless children. Such people have a lower intelligence than others with more common sense.

    We should look on such people like Eugenides’ manager with pity as they basically don’t have a future. Evolution will weed them out and kill them off when the state disappears when it’s run out of money because everyone is working for the state and no one is producing any wealth to fund the taxes that pay for the state.

  3. Mr E,

    Such is the culture we have created for ourselves; a nation of people sitting under flickering lights waiting for someone else to deal with the problem. But someone else never does.

    It’s one of the reasons I like working in smaller companies. Because the boss will tell the safety fascist to shut up.

    The problem in big companies (or the state) is that the manager is often too far from the people who own it. In a small company, the owner can make a gut judgement about whether his IT team is doing a good job. Once you get 3 layers of management between them, it gets bureaucratised. People get rules and targets, which end up as perverse incentives.

  4. Horrible.

    But the FSA advice as quoted is “if you regularly sell packaged food for charity, for example, jars of jam or boxed cakes, you might have to follow the regulations.” Just might. So don’t. The hospice managers are being silly, and shouldn’t blame the FSA, who can’t blame the EU. Wait for some idiot to try to enforce his view of the rule, and then call the press.

    And wholeheartedly agree with SBML. Never goldplate, and always apply with latherings of commonsense.

  5. So what — you simply sell the stuff marked as ‘not for human consumption’ and as ‘pet food’ with the slogan ‘good enough to eat yourself.’

    Problem solved.

  6. Also, this bureaucrazy demand also kills off the classic ‘pin money/pocket money earners’ of growing some food to sell in your neighborhood. Not that it makes folks rich, but it functions as social glue and it’s a good small business lesson for kiddies.

    Just ask the beekeepers what a PITA the EU laws on honey are! Oh and want to sell spare eggs your hens laid? No can do either. Meh.

  7. Interesting that when it comes to the Notting Hill Carnival, London’s great efnick event all the food hygene regulations go out the window, as do alcohol licencing laws et all.
    Seems we can do it when we want to

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