$250 Foie Fine Less Than Cost Per Pound

Okay, everybody knows about the first $250 fine that got slapped on Doug Sohn’s wrist yesterday, and foie gras is no longer on the menu at Hot Doug’s. And, no, foie gras does not cost that much, although that would be one way to curtail its consumption. Speaking of which, does anyone have insight on how the ban has affected actual consumption rates in the city? It’s pretty difficult to buy; Whole Foods doesn’t sell it at any of its stores, and neither does Fox & Obel. We were actually rather surprised by this last one, because F&O; doesn’t advertise a political agenda. When we called to ask why they don’t carry the product, we were told that it’s illegal to sell in Chicago. A pat enough answer, but not technically true. We hate to dredge this stuff up again, but let’s go to the books, shall we?

Okay, so the ordinance says, “All food dispensing establishments, as defined in Section 4-8-010 of the
Municipal Code shall prohibit the sale of foie gras.” Fair enough (sort of), but wait! Is Fox & Obel a food dispensing establishment as defined in Section blah blah blah? As it turns out, no. Here is the relevant section of the Municipal Code of Chicago:

“Food dispensing establishment” means any fixed location where food or drink is routinely prepared and served or provided for the public for consumption on or off the premises with or without charge. Such establishments include, but are not limited to, restaurants, coffee shops, cafeterias, short order cafes, luncheonettes, grills, tearooms, sandwich shops, soda fountains, taverns, bars, cocktail lounges, nightclubs, industrial feeding establishments, take-out establishments, private institutions or organizations routinely serving food, catering kitchens, commissaries or any other eating or drinking establishment or operation.

“Food purveyor establishment” means any place where any cooked or uncooked article of food, drink, confection or condiment used for or intended to be used for human consumption off the premises, is stored, sold, prepared, cooked or offered for sale at retail, such as candy manufacturers, confectioneries, fish markets, fruit and vegetable markets, grocery stores, meat markets, nut stores, dressed poultry markets or retail bakeries, bakery outlets or any similar place. [*]

Okay, so the ordinance says, “All food dispensing establishments, as defined in Section 4-8-010 of the
Municipal Code shall prohibit the sale of foie gras.” Fair enough (sort of), but wait! Is Fox & Obel a food dispensing establishment as defined in Section blah blah blah? As it turns out, no. Here is the relevant section of the Municipal Code of Chicago:

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$250 Foie Fine Less Than Cost Per Pound