BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                     SB 969  

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          Date of Hearing:  June 29, 2016


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair

          SB 969  
          (Nguyen) - As Amended June 21, 2016

          |Policy       |Health                         |Vote:|15 - 0       |
          |Committee:   |                               |     |             |
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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   


          This bill permits a food facility to sell Vietnamese rice cakes  
          that have been at room temperature for up to 24 hours,  
          notwithstanding provisions of law that require potentially  
          hazardous foods to either be refrigerated or kept hot.  

          It also defines a "Vietnamese rice cake," also known as Bánh Tét  
          or Bánh Chung, as a confection that contains a combination of  
          rice, beans, and meat or fruit wrapped tightly in banana leaves  
          for cooking, and prepared and handled according to specified  


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          FISCAL EFFECT:

          Negligible state costs.   Retail food safety laws are locally  
          enforced by environmental health departments and can be funded  
          through local fees on retail facilities.


          1)Purpose. This bill addresses an issue related to food safety  
            of traditional Vietnamese rice cakes. It creates an exception  
            to rules whereby the cakes, which contain ingredients that are  
            potentially hazardous without refrigeration, can legally and  
            safely be stored at room temperature for a period of time, as  
            long as the cakes were prepared in the specified way and are  
            labeled appropriately.

          2)Background.  Under existing law, Vietnamese rice cakes must be  
            sold refrigerated or frozen due to the presence of potentially  
            perishable ingredients. However, it goes against tradition to  
            purchase rice cakes that are cold.  This bill allows for  
            Vietnamese rice cakes that are cooked and served according to  
            traditional recipes to be sold at room temperature with  
            appropriate warning labels. Pursuant to AB 2214 (Tran),  
            Chapter 610, Statutes of 2006, the California Department of  
            Public Health (CDPH) was required to conduct a study of the  
            sale and consumption of three traditional Asian foods,  
            including the cakes that are the subject of this bill.  CDPH  
            found careful preparation and handling, as specified in this  
            bill, would allow the cakes to be safely stored at ambient  
            temperatures for up to 48 hours, but did point out it would be  
            impractical for regulatory staff to verify compliance with the  
            preparation and handling requirements. Existing law has  


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            similar exceptions for Korean rice cakes. 

          Analysis Prepared by:Lisa Murawski / APPR. / (916)