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Noodle Law Pleases Oodles of Chinese Restaurant Owners

Chicken Pho Ga, or Chicken Noodle Soup, at Turtle Tower Restaurant in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
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Chicken Pho Ga, or Chicken Noodle Soup, at Turtle Tower Restaurant in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
 

Chicken Pho Ga, or Chicken Noodle Soup, at Turtle Tower Restaurant in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Adithya Sambamurthy/The Bay Citizen
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Chicken Pho Ga, or Chicken Noodle Soup, at Turtle Tower Restaurant in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Adithya Sambamurthy/The Bay Citizen

Chinese restaurant owners are celebrating a new law that takes Asian food traditions into account when it comes to preparing rice noodles. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed into law Senate Bill 888, which ensures the continued safe production of Asian noodles in the state by allowing rice noodles to be kept at room temperature and delivered to restaurants within four hours. Chinese-American Senator Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, wrote the bill after receiving complaints from several Asian noodle manufacturers who had been penalized by the state’s public health department. They were fined for violating food safety regulations for not keeping the noodles under 41 degrees or over 140 degrees.

Chinese food manufacturers argued that rice noodles are traditionally kept at room temperature to maintain their smooth, al dente texure, reports Steve Ng for the China Press. Noodles that have been refrigerated lose their flavor, and cold temperatures can cause them to crack and get soggy when cooked.

Chinese restaurant owners have criticized state health officials in the past for their by-the-book approach to food safety, which they said did not take into account an understanding of Asian cuisine. Fresh rice noodles are often eaten the same day they are made, and restaurant owners say they have never received complaints that customers felt sick after eating fresh noodles.

Asian food manufacturers and restaurant owners say the passage of the bill marks an important step in California’s acceptance of Asian food culture.

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