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Nobody’s messing with my Maid-Rite

March 10, 2010

The future of Marshalltown's historic icon Taylor's Maid-Rite appears to be in the hands of the state.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals wants Taylor's to come up with a new process of cooking the meat - after 80 years of doing it the same way.

The restaurant, which cooks 65 pounds of meat at once would be required to use new cookers, valued at $7,000 each, that would only allow them to prepare 20 pounds of meat in an hour.

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Switching to a new way of operating would force them to close, according to owners, Don and Sandra Taylor Short.

Stemming from a federal administrative law, it's clear that the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals had some basis for its ruling.

But Taylor's owners say the decision is not based on factual data or historic precedent, as there are no reported incidents of food-borne illnesses from foods prepared with the traditional Maid-Rite cooker.

We agree and more importantly, so do our local legislators.

With public outrage stemming from Marshalltown and beyond our legislators did the right thing - they listened to their constituents.

An amendment to an administration and regulation budget bill introduced Tuesday could change the fate of Taylor's.

Sen. Steve Sodders said this the amendment would allow Taylor's Maid-Rite and other older Maid-Rite locations to continue their operations as normal.

Sodders talked to the Democratic Caucus about the bill Tuesday morning and is confident it has the votes to pass. Once it passes the Senate, it will then move on to the Iowa House.

Rep. Mark Smith said the bill will likely be debated by that body before the end of this week. If the amendment gets tacked on the bill on the Senate side, he said there is very little chance it would not pass the House.

While we agree there is a place for federal and state regulation when it comes to food safety and inspection, we believe in some cases it is better to still with the old adage - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.



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