Chow Bella

Gross Out: Sprinkles Cupcakes Gets Iced by County Inspectors

By Amy Silverman

I admit it, I'm shallow. About as deep as a cupcake, as long as it's a super-cute, tasty one.

Which is a good part of why I'm willing to pooh-pooh the county's most recent inspection report of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the boutique confectionary that finally opened earlier this year on the northeast corner of Scottsdale and Camelback roads.

This shiny chain is all about image, which is why I actually felt sorry for Sprinkles (I shouldn't -- a boxed cupcake at the place costs FIVE DOLLARS, for crying out loud) when I saw that they recently received a "No Award" citation for, basically, touching cupcakes with their bare hands.

(The other naughty behavior included old icing on a mixer's splash zone and the lack of a sign at the second hand wash sink, reminding employees to wash up. Please. That's nothing. Give me some roaches or a slimy ice machine, then we can talk.)

I'm a big fan of Maricopa County's restaurant inspection team, particularly after a few weeks of reading these reports. Gross out, indeed. But once in a while, you read a report and think, "Why, this is as ridiculous as the ban on bake sales at my kids' school!"

Yes, it's true. If you don't have kids or haven't been one yourself for a while, you likely haven't heard that the bake sale is now a thing of the past. No homemade cakes at the carnival cake walk, no gooey chocolate chip cookies for sale outside school. The best it gets these days is a sealed bag of Teddy Grahams, and you better make sure they're whole grain.

Or a Sprinkles cupcake, as long as it's pre-packaged (which will cost you an extra $1.75) and as long, apparently, as the girl behind the counter has washed her hands and donned rubber gloves.

I say, let them eat Sprinkles Cupcakes, bare hands be damned.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at