Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Would Unrefrigerated Meat Spoil in 3 Days? Judge Had to Decide

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Would Unrefrigerated Meat Spoil in 3 Days? Judge Had to Decide

Article excerpt

The parties to the matter before the court quickly got to the

meat of the matter, which was meat, the aesthetic and intrinsic

quality of which was at question before the majesty of the law.

The city of Jacksonville, through assorted civil servants,

asserted the meat was rancid, fly-blown, mean, rotten, nasty and

unfit for human consumption.

The defense, through expert witnesses, countered the meat was

merely misunderstood.

Also, argued Julian Hartridge, prominent Jacksonville attorney,

no evidence existed the meat actually was for sale ,

notwithstanding its presence upon the counter of Nelson Gray,

well-known purveyor of assorted meats at 514 E. Union St.

Presiding in Jacksonville's Municipal Court that June day in

1911 was Judge A.O. Wright, once and future hero of the

Confederate Navy who doubtless marveled his days before the mast

would lead to jurisprudence over the allowable limits on flies

on a piece of meat on a hot spring day.

Testimony revealed one Municipal Inspector Guest observed the

slab of beef upon the counter of meat dealer Gray on a Monday

morning and deemed it abhorrent to his sensibilities. A large

hole in a nearby screen provided access to a multitude of flies

that did not share his distaste.

Guest summoned city policeman Reddy Armfield, who concurred and

arrested Gray for selling meat entirely too dead in an

environment of flies entirely too abundant and alive.

City health officer Charles Terry was summoned and judged the

meat to be "fly blown and decidedly unwholesome if administered

to the human body as food," according to The Florida


Piffle, countered the defense.

Mere nitpicking, no pun intended.

Hartridge called as witnesses two executives of the local

Armour & Co. meat dealership, J. …

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