Thanks to Sen. Leland Yee’s bill, SB 888, which Gov. Schwarzenegger signed into law, chinese rice noodles can be produced and stored in the traditional way. Noodle factory and restaurant owners Zi-Xing Liu and Qun-Xian Gu, held a celebration party on Oct. 22, inviting Yee, reports Myra Tsai for the World Journal.

In July 2009, California Health Department inspectors went to a Chinese noodle factory in San Mateo and found it was not in compliance with state guidelines on making and saving noodles. The factory, facing shutdown, sought Yee’s help. Yee said that if the traditional way of making and storing noodles had worked for the Chinese in China for thousands of years, California could carve out an exception for it on cultural grounds.

California law states rice noodles must be refrigerated to avoid contamination or deterioration. But that caused the rice noodles to become brittle and inedible. Now, noodle makers can go back to their traditional methods and store the noodles at room temperature, but they need to send the fresh rice noodles to restaurants within four hours of manufacture. SB 888 would require manufacturers to place labels indicating time and date of manufacture on the noodles.