City requires lingerie store to get food permit for having tasty treats

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kens5.com

Posted on May 18, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 19 at 3:38 PM

Rosemary Benitez thought it was a joke at first. She was told her store was going to need a food permit in order to stay in business.

But Benitez doesn't own a restaurant. She owns the Shades of Love lingerie store on West Bitters road.

Shades of Love sells racy lingerie, high heel shoes, adult toys and items meant to enhance a couple's sex life. However, some of those items are edible. That's why the health department ruled the store needed a food permit.

The permit costs about $230 a year. It also means the store is subject to regular health inspections.

Beneitez says, "Everything is sold as novelty. Everything in the box says 'novelty item' only... It's not something you sit down and actually eat. It's more for licking and tasting. Edible? No. It's not going to fill you up."

San Antonio's Sanitarian Services Manager, Stephen Barschewski, told us, "Any facility in the city of San Antonio that sells edible substance requires a food establishment permit. One, it's the law. Two, in case there's a recall, we certainly want to know the source."

Beneitez countered back, "I don't think you would actually eat, lick, or taste enough of this that it would cause a big problem (as in food recalls). It's absurd to me."

KENS 5 has learned of other stores, like Dillard's department stores and several auto parts stores, that are also required to have food permits. The reason is because they sell chocolate bars.

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