It might be as common these days, as in the past, but outlaws are still out there. The offenders I remember are the local hardware store and a car mechanic that my father patronized. My grandfather took me to a machine shop on his route of out of the way places buying and selling machine tools. I think the machine tool place was more for internal consumption, they liked popcorn, but there in an office stacked high with catalogs was a popcorn machine. If I remember right you had to show up in the afternoon for free popcorn. The hardware store and the repair shop was free popcorn all the time. Popcorn-health-threat.
These places were not in the business of purveying popcorn to the masses. What was offered was sometimes stale or soggy, but sometimes it was hot and fresh. Anybody but a government employee knew going in,”you takes your chances.”
This isn’t about protecting public health, this is about snagging low hanging fruit to make the stats look good. A health inspector hits a restaurant and finds several deficiencies, no hand washing sink, improper refrigeration, cleanliness grease build up on the popcorn machine. The restaurant has to address these issues, call for another inspection, pass inspection or appeal the decision and call for a hearing.
The health inspector finds the same issue at the hardware store or machine shop and takes the same action. When the owner finds out the cost of compliance, he unplugs the popcorn machine and throws it in the dumpster. Issue resolved, no follow up by the health inspector.
Cashier or secretary finds a microwave oven that will fit in the same space as the popcorn machine, finds individual serving microwavable popcorn. Next week everybody is eating popcorn, not quite as good as the old stuff and wondering what the hoopla was about.
Miss the old days blame a liberal.