Rice cake vendors in US hit by new food regulations

November 6, 2013
Rice cake stores in Atlanta, the U.S., crashed with the city's food regulation which banned displaying of rice cakes four hours after their making. For the makers, it is as silly as trashing them right after making them.

Rice cake stores in Atlanta are subject to the city’s new food regulation banning the display of rice cakes four hours after they are made. For the store owners and rice cake producers, it is as silly as trashing them right after making them.

By Ko Dong-hwan

Korean rice cake vendors in Atlanta recently received a seemingly unreasonable notice from the city government and are cornered to dispose of their main products, American sources reported on Wednesday.

Inspectors from public health office in Gwinnett County, Georgia, swept rice cake stores run by Koreans in Atlanta and ended up ordering one store to dispose all rice cakes on display and imposing a business shutdown for one day.

The county, unfamiliar with the food, initiated the inspection because the health office included all rice cake products in a “perishable food category” based on the fact that they are made of rice. This affected the products with the nation’s food regulation that “no perishable food products shall be stored in room temperature for more than four hours.”

For rice cake vendors, this turn of event was a disaster.

“It takes four hours to make rice cake, from kneading rice dough to articulating it. Inspectors considered that the storage limitation time must begin when we start grinding rice. It means I must trash them as soon as I finish making them,” said an infuriated owner of the shutdown rice cake store.

Vendor groups questioned the health office about doughnuts which are made in the morning and displayed until late the same day and still permitted for sale. Officials refuted the argument, reasoning that flour is different from rice.

“Not just rice cakes, but other Korean food restaurant owners are tripping due to the same food regulation. The system is pushing their luck,” said another rice cake vendor. “We must consolidate and make our unison voice be heard by Atlanta city officials, just like how Korean residents in California did.”

Ministry of Food and Drug Safety confirmed that all rice cake products stored in room temperature after purchase generated germs above permissible dosage after four hours.

It testified that the dispute can be averted if the U.S. food regulation allows an extra four hours to the storage limitation hours, making it eight hours in total.

One Comment

  1. GeorgeH

    December 31, 2013 at 3:37 AM

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