California Mom May Face Jail Time for Selling Ceviche Through Facebook Group

Image via Fox40/screengrab
Image via Fox40/screengrab

A California mom may be headed to jail for selling homemade ceviche through Facebook.


An undercover investigator took time out of what was clearly his very busy day to conduct a sting operation against Mariza Reulas, a single mom, by ordering a batch of the seafood-filled dish through the group last December. From the Daily News:

Prosecutors said she violated state law by selling food prepared in a facility not subjected to inspections. Ruelas [sic] says she was just participating in a group called “209 Food Spot” which organized potlucks, recipe-sharing and occasional small sales among the members.


Reulas wasn’t the only member of the group to catch flack from the law about food swapping—around a dozen other members were cited for operating a food facility and engaging in business without a permit. But Reulas is the only one headed to trial, since she alone refused to accept a deal in which she would plead guilty to one of the charges, landing her on probation for three years.

“I don’t write the laws, I enforce them. And the legislature has felt that this is a crime,” San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kelly McDaniel told KTXL-TV.

And Reulas is standing her ground that this particular law is bullshit, calling it a “a waste of time and resources.”

“It was just, like, unreal that they were saying that you could face up to a year in jail,”she told the station.


The DA also claimed that investigators sent a warning message to the group before filing charges, though Reulas denied on Facebook that that was the case.

Night blogger at Jezebel

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I mean, we have food safety laws for a reason. Food safety laws are why the people who make your food have to wash their hands after they poo. Or, remember how entire families have dropped dead of botulism because of improperly canned tomato sauce?

If we make an exception for this person, we’re basically saying that food safety laws aren’t that important, and it’s okay to go around selling homemade food like it’s safe. It invalidates the effort that all food professionals, from taco truck vendors to restaurant chefs, have to go through in order to become licensed to prepare food for public consumption.

This lady got offered a much easier deal than jail time, which was probation, and she refused it.