Heads Up Arizona Residents – Your Potluck Dinner Is Probably Illegal

In-home potluck dinners in Arizona are now illegal.

  • A law designed to improve served food safety and increase health department inspections had specific exemptions written into the law – for “noncommercial” events in the workplace
  • The exemption did NOT include private residences and anyone hosting such an event could be fined or jailed
  • Legislators have termed it an “oversight” that came to light when a private potluck was shut down by law enforcement after a neighbor, who knew about the law, complained
  • An additional bill has been introduced as an amendment that would also exempt in-home potlucks

Statism and regulatory overreach, in the attempt to get everything perfect, is making life increasingly difficult. “Hey, let’s all have dinner and everyone can bring something to share” now requires specific legislative attention so that it’s a legal activity.


Via The Daily Signal:

A state lawmaker is moving to close a bizarre regulatory loophole that prohibits residents from holding potlucks in their own home or church.

Arizona state Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, called the ban a “legislative oversight” and is championing a bill to refine the statute’s language to legalize potlucks across the state.

The law initially was written to subject all served food to safety regulations and health department inspections. However, lawmakers explicitly exempted potlucks and other “noncommercial social events” if they occur at a workplace.

Since the exemption did not include potlucks held in homes or churches, the law effectively made them illegal in Arizona. Anyone caught hosting a potluck outside the workplace could be slapped with a fine or even arrested.

Paul Avelar, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice’s Arizona office, called the law “insane.”

In an interview with The Daily Signal, Avelar said he stumbled upon Townsend’s bill while sifting through bills introduced in the state this year. That’s when he first learned that Arizona—“I guess accidentally”—had made potlucks illegal.


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