Monday, February 13, 2006

hanging meats now allowed in restaurant windows

In places like Chinatown, it's common to see cured cooked meats, like chicken and duck, hanging in the window of a restaurant. These aren't just decoration -- they're sold to customers -- and they're not refrigerated. Here in New York City, restaurant owners who allowed this would regularly be fined for violating health codes, despite the fact that fully cooked chicken is relatively sterile and inhospitable to airborne bacteria, and the meat is also cured in salt or soy sauce. However, now comes word that the city health commissioner has agreed to change the rules for Chinese restaurants so that they can keep their traditional displays without fines.

Once the rules are changed, restaurants will be able to display certain cured and cooked meats for up to four hours without the book being thrown at them... I'm glad to see a little bit of common sense when it comes to food in this country. Maybe with a little luck we'll be able to get unpasteurized raw-milk cheeses from Europe at some point...

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