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Bill Aims to Back State Off on Chili Cook-Offs

Soup and Chili Bowl 2011ST. PAUL (AP) – Crosslake citizens say unnecessary health regulations have hurt their annual chili cook-off, and a state lawmaker has the fix.

Rep. Joe Radinovich, a freshman Democrat from nearby Crosby, introduced a bill Monday that would ease state health regulations on soup and chili cook-offs. He calls it common-sense legislation, and says that Minnesotans know not to expect the same health standards at a community event as they would at a restaurant.

Crosslake citizen Bart Taylor says that the judges and visitors that come to town for the annual contest don’t need to be protected from the state. After years of competing, he decided not to enter his chili last year.

Radinovich’s bill is reminiscent of a push a decade ago that got regulators to ease off restrictions on potlucks.

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