$125 an hour inspectors to make BBQ
$125 an hour inspectors to make BBQ
''We have had to jump through hoops to keep our inspector happy," said Lea Richards, owner of Pig of the Month BBQ.
Lea Richards

Owner of Pig of the Month BBQ in Dayton, Ohio

We do nationwide mail order barbecue. We cook it. We vacuum pack it, freeze it and send it out on dry ice. We do six different styles of ribs and pulled pork.

I was in finance and I just hated it. But I always loved to cook. My parents raised us on barbecue. We spent every vacation scouting out the most random barbecue places in the country.

If you want to send meat over U.S. state lines, you have to be licensed by the Department of Agriculture.

The department is geared to only help large meat processing plants. And they do almost all they can to discourage the little guy from getting into mail order food.

We have had to jump through hoops to keep our inspector happy, under threats of taking away our establishment license if we don't listen.

The inspector just comes by unannounced between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. If we choose to work later than those hours, the inspector charges us $125 per hour for overtime. They are the most expensive inspectors I have ever seen.

That's not the only headache. We also have to develop a food safety management plan to comply with the Food and Drug Administration.

But you can't even write the plan unless you take an online course that teaches you basic food handling. You think it won't be a big deal, but the course is challenging and it costs a couple hundred dollars.

These regulations are really stifling to small business. They are really oppressive.

Last updated September 22 2011: 3:40 PM ET
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