Single Mom May Face Jail Time for Selling Food on Facebook

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
November 7, 2016 Updated: November 7, 2016

STOCKTON, Calif. —A single mother of six from Stockton says she could go to jail for selling homemade ceviche.

Mariza Ruelas tells KTXL-TV that she was cited with a misdemeanor in a sting operation. She had participated in a Facebook group where members trade recipes and sometimes sell specialty dishes.

Prosecutors say the problem is that Ruelas doesn’t have the proper business permits required of restaurants. She refused a plea deal with prosecutors and is headed to trial.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kelly McDaniel says that people selling food must get health inspections to safeguard from making people sick. Prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request by The Associated Press seeking comment.

McDaniel says that people like Ruelas also undercut restaurant owners who go through the effort of obtaining the proper licenses.