Sunday, March 31, 2013

Would You Buy Cheese Along the New Jersey Turnpike?

There's been a fair amount of media attention in the past week about the guy who allegedly stole 21 tons of Muenster cheese from Wisconsin and tried to sell it at a rest stop along the New Jersey Turnpike.
Veniamin Balika, 34, is accused of trying to fence
21 tons of stolen cheese along the
New Jersey Turnpike.

Yeah, he's in trouble, and New Jersey police have impounded the remaining cheese, but a question remains: How much of the stolen cheese is left? Or more crucially, how many people were stupid enough to buy the cheese?

Most people would think that a guy selling cheese at a rest stop is a bit sketchy, and perhaps the food shouldn't be trusted.

Everybody loves a bargain and I'm sure the accused, Veniamin Balika, 34, was offerintg the cheese at a nice discount. But still.

Even if you knew the cheese was not dangerous, wouldn't the fact that it's being sold at a rest area raise a couple red flags? Most people don't go to rest areas to shop. If I must stop at one, I make sure I do my business, as it were, as quickly as possible, then get out of Dodge.

Apparently, New Jersey health officials will inspect the cheese. If it passes muenster, er, muster, a charity might receive the windfall. Which is fine, because at least someone will have checked the cheese to make sure it won't kill you.

There is hope for the cheese. reports the cheese was found in a refrigerated truck at the rest stop, so at least it wasn't left to rot in the spring sunshine.

Hmm. Now I could go for some cheese. There is one rest area on the highway near my home, but, call me crazy.  I think I just might go to a reputable food market instead.

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