BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 888
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 4, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                      SB 888 (Yee) - As Amended:  June 21, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              HealthVote:18 - 0  


          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill requires manufacturers of Asian rice-based noodles to  
          include a label on the product packaging that includes the date  
          of manufacture and appropriate time for consumption.  In  
          addition, the bill permits food facilities to sell Asian rice  
          noodles that have been kept at room temperature for no more than  
          four hours. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)There are no significant costs for the Department of Public  
            Health (DPH) associated with this legislation. 


          2)Potential nonreimbursable costs to local government for  
            additional enforcement, offset to some extent by additional  
            fine revenues. 


           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  . This bill is intended to allow Asian rice  
            noodle-makers to sell their products as long as the packaging  
            contains the required labeling and authorizes them to maintain  
            the noodles at room temperature for up to four hours, rather  
            than requiring that they be refrigerated at below 41 degrees  
            or heated to above 135 degrees. The author asserts California  
            Asian rice- based noodle-makers have been shutting their doors  
            and eliminating jobs because of a questionable interpretation  
            of current law that requires these noodles, long considered a  
            staple of Asian cuisine, to be refrigerated rather than  








                                                                  SB 888
                                                                  Page  2

            maintained at room temperature, which is current industry  
            practice.  

            The author argues that the current heating and refrigeration  
            requirements should not apply to Asian rice based noodles  
            because they are meant to be kept at room temperature for up  
            to four hours, and any change in production would change a  
            standard used by Asian communities for thousands of years.  

           2)Related Legislation  . AB 2214 (Tran; Chapter 160, Statutes of  
            2006) established the Asian Traditional Food Act and directed  
            DPH to conduct a study on the effects of current retail food  
            safety and sanitation standards on the sale and consumption of  
            specified traditional Asian food. That study was provided to  
            the Legislature and the results were mixed.  Certain foods  
            were deemed to be potentially hazardous if stored at room  
            temperatures, while others were not determined to be hazardous  
            if prepared correctly and only stored for 48 hours. 

            AB 187 (Liu; Chapter 204, Statutes of 2001) allowed retail  
            food facilities to sell Korean rice cakes that have been kept  
            at room temperature for less than 24 hours and directed Korean  
            rice cake manufacturers to provide a date stamp indicating the  
            date of manufacture and a warning label that the rice cake  
            must be consumed within one day of manufacture.


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Julie Salley-Gray / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081