If the defendant complies with the terms and conditions set forth by the court, the District Attorney will dismiss the charges against her, in one year.
Ms. Ruelas was charged with operating a food facility without a valid permit, and engaging in business without a permit to sell, when it was learned she had been selling food through a Facebook page. The charges were misdemeanors.
"The District Attorney's objective in filing this case was to ensure the health and safety of the public, which assumes if someone is advertising and selling food they have the proper permits to do so, which would allow for inspections and certifications of food handling procedures," said Sherri Adams, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Quality of Life Crimes.
Ms. Ruelas appeared before Judge Lauren Thomasson, in Department 14, where the case was set for trial assignment. As part of the agreement, the defendant also agreed to not use social media to make illegal food sales, trade or barter food, unless she has the proper permits.
"It is critical that food operators are in compliance, as there's a direct link between unsafe food handling practices and foodborne illnesses. Public health is enhanced when all food safety partners work together to protect our community," said Adams.
Anyone interested in learning more about food safety practices, or obtaining a permit to sell food can contact the San Joaquin County Environmental Health Department.