County shuts down wild game dinner

— Snyder said the reason the health department has not prohibited the church’s Wild Game Dinner during the past 27 years is because the department was not aware of it, and only discovered this year’s event through seeing an advertisement in the newspaper. “We had no choice but to follow up,” he said.

DeLeon said the church received an email from the health department last Friday, but after reading the department’s information brochure, which stated, “Some events do not require a permit. These include bake sales or covered dish suppers where people bring a dish to share with each other,” the church did not believe they were violating the health code.

“This was the first we’d heard of this,” DeLeon said. After the county official appeared at the event on Saturday, “rather than cause a fuss we just complied. Our plan now is to regroup and work with the department [in the future].”

One attendee of the event, Shawn Skeele, was not so sanguine about the affair. “Everyone who comes to this dinner pretty much knows the risks they are taking when trying out these dishes which range from snake, deer, bear, squirrel, woodchuck, goose, rabbit, road kill (who knows) and even crow,” he wrote in an email to numerous local news outlets, including the Cazenovia Republican. “So here we are again; a sensible law of monitoring the food supply served to the public that has gone amuck to shutting down potluck church dinners open to the public where there is no fee or money required to partake in.”

Cazenovia Town Supervisor Ralph Monforte, who also sits on the county board of supervisors, said he was not aware of the county health department’s action last Saturday, and “I’ve never heard of something like this before. I’m sorry that it happened. I’m sure there’s some procedure that was missed, although I don’t know on whose side.”

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