Dallas County Judge Issues Order Banning Price-Gouging of Groceries, Restaurant Meals
With freezing temperatures remaining in northern Texas, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has issued a local disaster statement prohibiting the excavation of staple foods such as groceries.
The ordinance issued by Jenkins on Monday prohibits the sale of food, beverages, ice cream and other items at “more than the regular retail price”. The order also applies to meals served in restaurants, cafeterias, and “boarding houses,” as well as restrictions on increases in the price of non-food items, including medicines, hotel rooms, and toiletries. The only exception to the Jenkins order is that a restaurant or other grocery vendor may increase the price of their goods if the “increased retail price is the result of increased supplier or other costs” under the order.
The mandate comes because thousands of people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are unable to prepare hot food at home due to widespread power outages and blackouts in the area. These outages are likely to continue throughout Monday as the state’s power grid effectively “collapsed” under the massive drain on its resources as millions of Texans attempt to heat their homes to unprecedented single-digit temperatures across the state.
Jenkins’ order went into effect at 8 p.m. on February 15 and remains in effect until it is lifted.