Victory Appears Certain for Asian Rice Noodle Supporters

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Photo: Virtual Ern via Flickr

A bill approved yesterday in California's State Senate signals a coming victory for devotees of authentic Asian rice noodles. Last fall, we reported on a state law that sought to force this traditional staple into the fridge after it is cooked, a mandate that was heavily opposed by Asian restaurant owners and cultural advocates who maintain these noodles must be kept--as custom dictates--at room temperature or face structural ruin. So, what might change now?

State senator Sen. Leland Yee leapt to the defense of a San Francisco noodle manufacturer that was temporarily shut down last July for not keeping its product below 41 degrees, arguing that Kun Wo Food Product Inc. is the victim of a "cultural gap" between inspectors and the Asian community that has nearly ruined its business. Yee's proposed legislation, SB888, passed 32-0 yesterday and will go on to a vote in the State Assembly, Mercury News reports.

If successfully passed there, rice noodle makers will be given the right to keep their wares at room temperature as long as the product is clearly labeled with the time and date of production and additionally must carry a statement that the noodles "are to be eaten within four hours of manufacture." Similarly, any restaurant serving the room-temp noodles must serve them within four hours of production. By all current predictions, the measure should pass, making us wonder if persecuted, soo unpasteurized Oaxacan cheese will have its own Yee-like hero someday.

Calif. bill would ease sale of Asian rice noodles [Mercury News]
Earlier: Asian Rice Noodle Makers Fight Health Department Crackdown [Grub Street]