The Mesa Verde business, run by a fiery religious group that tangles
often with local government, had previously been cited for a number of
other health code violations and ordered to shut down its tea room
restaurant and candy counter. It is on probation with both the city and
the county, with regular, unannounced inspections as one of the
According to the inspection report, the most recent violations
included giving out bread samples and selling bulk foods without a
permit, having incomplete labeling and having plants in the kitchen.
Inspectors also allegedly found three dead cockroaches under an unused
The judge ruled the store's packaged foods must have either "display
only" labels or manufacturers' labels, bread samples must be discontinued
and, if packaged foods are stored in the kitchen, the refrigerator must
have a thermometer and potted plants must be removed.
The violations are minor, the judge said. Health department
spokeswoman Pat Markley agreed, saying the agency is much more concerned
about the Piecemakers' refusal to let the health inspectors conduct
unimpeded facility inspections.
"When inspectors are there it is often a rather tense atmosphere with
some hostile comments including, on occasion, some foul language,"
Markley said. "The issue is our right to inspect the food facility to
comply with state law, which we do with every other food facility in
Orange County. We're not singling them out, but there has been a long
history of interaction between government entities and the Piecemakers."
Marie Kolasinski, 76, and Anne Sorenson, 68, on probation from
criminal charges for the previous code violations, said the health
department is responsible for the hostile atmosphere.
"I used to shake in my boots and feel sick when they came, but now I'm
just (angry)," Kolasinski said. "They're not satisfied that we've shut
down; they're looking for more things to bother us about. This is the
worst harassment you can get, and it's disgusting. By the time we satisfy
all the codes and pay for all the permits, our money will be gone."