Health Department rules have long been the bane of charcuterie makers and Chinese restaurants who hang their ducks by the window. Now New York health officials are getting tough on the kimchi makers. Several online sources have reported that there's been an inherent crack down on the quintessential fermented Korean foodstuff in the Big Apple.
The complaint among the Korean restauranteurs who get citations and fines because they are, according to the authorities, not keeping their kimchi at a proper 41 degrees, is that the inspectors just don't understand what kimchi is. The kimchi makers argue that the rule is unfair because kimchi has an acidity level below 4.6, which they say should make it safe to keep at room temperature.
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The compromise offered by one health commissioner was for the producers to prove the pH-level was below the 4.6 level by testing each batch; but the owners say they don't have the time or money to do this. My my, what a pickle!