August 27, 2009
The liberation of Asian rice noodles

Every so often, health codes frustrate restaurants even if the intentions are good. I'm told, for instance, that restaurants are not allowed to leave silverware set at tables when there are no customers present. That drives some restaurateurs crazy.

But I wasn't aware of the specific health code that ties the hands of chefs wishing to prepare authentic Asian noodles. Those noodles are best kept at room temperature, but the law prohibits this. That's a serious problem for food purists, and they're not taking this lightly. We just received the following press release about an event Friday, Aug. 28 in Daly City on behalf of better rice noodles.

Master Chef Martin Yan will join Senator Leland Yee in an effort to change state regulations regarding the production of Asian rice noodles.

Current regulations require such food to be held at or below 41 degrees, or kept at or above 140 degrees at all times. However, rice noodles are meant to be kept at room temperature for up to 8 hours. A change in production would make the noodle undesirable and change a standard used by Asian communities for thousands of years.

Recently, inspectors from the California Department of Public Health have cited such manufacturers of Asian rice noodles for violation of state regulations.

There have been no reports of illness from eating Asian rice noodles and independent tests have verified that such noodle preparation is not harmful.

Senator Yee has plans to introduce legislation to ensure the continued safe production of Asian rice noodles in California

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