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COMMONWEALTH v. SPRINGER (09/16/59)

September 16, 1959

COMMONWEALTH
v.
SPRINGER, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 194, Oct. T., 1959, from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Northampton County, Feb. T., 1958, No. 95, in case of Commonwealth v. Ralph Springer. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

Justin K. McCarthy, with him Daniel L. McCarthy, for appellant.

Russell Kowalyshyn, Assistant District Attorney, with him Edward G. Ruyak, District Attorney, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ.

Author: Gunther

[ 190 Pa. Super. Page 547]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

This appeal involves the application and construction of the Act of 1909, May 13, P.L. 520, as amended, 31 P.S. section 1 et seq., known as the General Food Law. Appellant, Ralph Springer, proprietor of a grocery store at 402 Linden Street in the City of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was convicted of violating the General Food Law in that he did offer or expose for sale or have in his possession with intent to sell certain food articles which were adulterated by containing filth, live beetles, maggots, moths and webs. Under the provision of section 7 of said Act, the indictment recited that defendant was twice previously convicted and sentenced in summary proceedings for violation of the Act.

On September 30, 1957, an inspector of the Bureau of Foods and Chemistry of the Department of Agriculture entered appellant's store and informed him he was making a routine inspection. In the course of his inspection he took into his possession eight samples or specimens consisting of a box of Luden's rainbow strips, a box of Pearson's salted nut rolls, a carton of ry-krisp, a carton of brazil nuts, a carton of chocolate covered mint thins, two large Hershey almond chocolate bars, a carton of Stauffers cookies and a carton of peanut

[ 190 Pa. Super. Page 548]

    brittle. He saw evidence of infestation on these articles and was able to see that some of the articles were eaten and webby. These articles were tagged and delivered on October 2, 1957, to Edward W. Rees, a State chemist in Philadelphia, for examination and analysis.

The results of the examination and analysis disclosed that the rainbow strip candy had live beetles running around outside the candy in the box in the adult stage reached after 30 days; the cellophanewrapped nut rolls were webby and the inside of box was full of live maggots squirming all around the box and on the outside of the rolls plus a fine webbing and eggs. The maggots or larvae were in the secondary stage and the eggs were in the first stage. The ry-krisp were found to contain 50 live beetles and 35 live maggots in 8 ounces of samples examined showing the beetles in the adult stage and the maggots in the secondary stage. The carton containing the brazil nuts were infested with live moths and beetles in the adult stage and the contents were dried out, indicating a very old product. The chocolate covered mints contained a lot of webs in the box and around the candy and also contained beetles. It was testified to that the white webby material was pupa hatching out into the adult beetle, leaving the web. The Hershey chocolate almond bars were entirely infested with live beetles and webs found inside the inner wrapper next to the chocolate. The candy itself was so infested with beetles it looked very old and grayish, like the cacao fat had come to the top of the chocolate bar. The carton of cookies contained beetles and live maggots and webs in the box and around the cookies, and the peanut brittle was entirely infested with moths and webs. The chemist concluded that these articles were unfit for human consumption.

[ 190 Pa. Super. Page 549]

All of the above enumerated articles, with the exception of the ry-krisp, cookies and brazil nuts, were taken from under the bottom shelf in back of the counter, from the top of an electric show case which was refrigerated inside, and from the rack just forward of the counter area where other items of food were displayed. The ry-krisp, cookies and brazil nuts were ...


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