Health Department To Little Girls: No Juice For You


The Green girls just wanted to do something nice for their dad.

Eight-year-old Andria and seven-year-old Zoey, of Overton, Texas, had a plan to take their dad to a local water park for his special day. So they did what many enterprising youths have done in America: they set up a lemonade stand.

According to Zoey, the plan was pretty simple. “We had kettle corn and lemonade. The lemonade was for 50 cents and the kettle corn was a dollar, but if you got both it was a dollar.”

For the first hour it went pretty well, with the girls making $25, according to local TV affiliate KLTV.

That’s when Johnny Law showed up to put the kibosh on the whole operation.

Overton requires two things for an independent food vendor – a $150 “peddler’s permit” and an inspection from the local Board of Health. In the Greens’ case, the city agreed to waive the first but not the second.
Since lemonade is considered a food that requires temperature control to avoid bacteria growth, the stand falls under Texas House Bill 970 and so the stand was shut down. “We have to follow by the state health guidelines. They have to have a permit if they’re going to do the lemonade stands,” said Overton Police Chief Clyde Carter said.

This is hardly the first such closure to draw national attention.

On the flip side, hard work advocate Mike Rowe recently had a much more positive lemonade stand story to share. Rowe took the opportunity to help the young man with his stand learn a little more about how to run a business, put the customer first, and make an honest profit.

The difference in the two attitudes is stark enough to beg the question – are the Greens victims of the law of unintended consequences, or is this consequence entirely intended?

Candice has almost 20 years of experience reporting for various conservative publications. When she's not writing, she enjoys being outdoors--especially camping, hiking, and hunting. She lives in Harrisburg, PA, with her husband.