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Diversity Is Strength: It`s Also "A Virtual Petri Dish For Bacteria" (Asian Restaurants Pose Health Risk)
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June 16, 2008, 08:04 PM
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The only kind of diversity that enjoys widespread support among Americans is that of food. Who doesn`t enjoy the occasional dim sum or pad thai?

But when in Sacramento, I think I`ll stick to meatloaf.

With a new Asian restaurant opening in Sacramento County every two weeks, health inspectors face a growing challenge because Asian eateries are most prone to health violations.Asiah Restaurants Health Problems

Like upscale French restaurants dinged for making hollandaise with uncooked eggs, some of the local Asian restaurants` issues stem from cultural food practices. In Chinese restaurants, for instance, roast duck meat may hang from a hook to dry for more than four hours, creating a tasty entree that inspectors consider a virtual petri dish for bacteria.

But most of the inspectors` unsavory findings are more basic: unwashed hands, vermin and food cooked or stored at the wrong temperature.

Forty-four of the 50 Sacramento restaurants castigated most often since 2003 for major violations—the infractions that pose an immediate health threat—serve Asian food, according to a Bee analysis of county inspection data newly posted at www.sacbee.com/databases.

Nearly half of the 400 or so restaurants temporarily closed down for safety problems during those years also served Asian food, though fewer than one in six local restaurants is Asian. [Asian restaurants often run afoul of Sacramento County health inspectors, By Phillip Reese and Dan Nguyen, Sacramento Bee, June 15, 2008]