Residents, Health Inspectors at Odds Over Fate of Butterscotch Pudding
Local News - Newsmakers
Written by Millbank Daily-Weekly   
Saturday, 23 August 2014 16:16

Butterscotch loving Raccoons at Taste of MillbanksThe City of Millbank Health Department issued an emergency warning to residents on Friday evening after they say raccoons accessed and contaminated more than 475 gallons of butterscotch pudding at the Taste of Millbank Festival.

“We have evidence of raccoon infestation in the pudding,” said health inspector Dawn Meloni. “For that reason, we are encouraging residents to not eat the pudding.” The evidence, said Miss Meloni, is contaminants in the product, including fur, claws, raccoon blood, baby raccoons and massive amounts of raccoon poop. These reports come on the heels of last month’s state report citing Millbank’s raccoons as the most disease-ridden in the tri-county area.

The health warning comes during the Festival’s final, and most popular, weekend when the city’s residents often gorge themselves into a stupor on sweets and fried foods. The pudding is by far the most popular delicacy at the event and shortages in previous years have resulted in rioting, looting and even name-calling.

Residents at the Downhill Moderate Senior Living Facility make the pudding each year. The revenue it generates comprises 85% of the facility’s recreation budget. In previous years the seniors have rejected calls from City Hall to help keep order during the festival by making enough pudding for all residents. In May of this year, however, the television in the Downhill Facility’s recreation room stopped working, forcing the seniors to increase pudding production to raise funds. One senior citizen said they were hoping to make enough money to “get one of them fancy flat TVs with all the good shows on them.”

Downhill residents do not dispute that raccoons have gotten into the pudding. They said they had no way to store the nearly 2,200 gallons they made and were forced to keep it in garbage cans and barrels. The lids to the containers were stolen by hooligans who used them as frisbees.

However, the seniors insist the health warnings are overblown and that the butterscotch pudding is still fine. In fact, one senior said it tasted even better.

“(Raccooon hair) adds texture,” said Greta Fursten, a five-year resident, as she ate a small bowl of the pudding.

“And, oh, what’s that?” she asked as she removed a raccoon claw from between her teeth and said, “It’s fun. Every bowl is like a treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find.”

Buttersctoch tainted Raccoon at Taste of MillbankThe Health Department has asked City Police to enforce a ban on butterscotch pudding sales for the remainder of the Taste of Millbank Festival. As of Saturday, police have not issued a ban and are weighing their options. Chief Vern Howard said they have to balance public health with the potential for a riot if butterscotch sales are halted.

Said Howard, “On the one hand, you’ve got people puking. On the other, you’ve got people bleeding. So, it’s a puke versus blood scenario.”

An informal survey of city residents showed that most agree with the seniors and that a rodent infestation would not stop them from consuming the pudding. Lloyd Kiljan, an Eighth Avenue resident, said the incident was an example of government overreach. “Like the time those Health Department goons told us the brown water in our taps was because of cross-contamination with the sewer plant, and not chocolate. You know what? Tasted like chocolate to me.”

One vendor has begun selling T-shirts at the festival that say “You can take my pudding from my cold dead hand.” Health inspector Dawn Meloni warned, “That is exactly what might happen.”

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Last Updated on Saturday, 23 August 2014 16:37

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