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Bread challenge highlights strange city rules

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: May 17, 2013 - 5:03 PM

To illustrate red tape still buried in Minneapolis ordinances, a city council candidate has issued an interesting, bread-related challenge to his supporters.

Andrew Johnson, who is challenging Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy in her southeast ward, asked his Facebook followers to locate and download the font Lining Gothic No. 520.

Why? Because city ordinances say every loaf of bread manufactured or sold in the city must use that typeface on their labels. The city rule was last amended in 1960.

UPDATE: A commenter notes that the ordinance actually says the bread label must be written in no smaller than 12-point Lining Gothic No. 520 typeface. The font itself does not appear to be mandated.

"My hunch is that it's almost impossible to find, and thus most if not all loaves of bread being sold in the city are being sold illegally," Johnson wrote. "But I hope you prove me wrong!"

Johnson garnered enough support at the DFL convention last month to block the endorsement of Colvin Roy. No one was endorsed in the ward.

The city code actually has a whole section on bread. Here are some other highlights:

Each loaf must weigh "one pound avoirdupois." Bread can only be sold in "half, double, triple, quadruple, quintuple or sextuple loaves." Labels must be printed on an area "at least one inch square and not to exceed one and one-half (1½) inches square, or, if round, at least one inch in diameter and not to exceed one and one-half (1½) inches in diameter."

But thankfully, these provisions do not apply to "crackers, pretzels, biscuits, buns, scones, rolls or loaves of fancy bread weighing less than one-fourth of a pound avoirdupois."

And don't get it wrong, because "any loaf or loaves of bread made, baked or offered or exposed for sale contrary to the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to confiscation."

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