Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

CPG Sec. 505.400 Chow Mein Noodles, Chinese Noodles and Other Oriental Noodles; Labeling


Administration Information Letter No. 84, December 29, 1948, stated:

While we have consistently advised inquirers that Chinese noodles are regarded as the noodles covered by the standard of identity, we have, after a great deal of consideration, decided against any attempt to enforce this policy with respect to the so-called chow mein noodles, either wet or fried. We have not previously made any formal decision regarding the packaged product such as we have here (Chinese Noodles), but there is a substantial argument in favor of taking the same position as with the wet or fried chow mein noodles. In the event of a contest, we would have to admit that this is a product which has for years been marketed with a low egg content or, for that matter, in many cases containing no eggs at all.

In response to numerous inquiries regarding other types of oriental noodles, particularly "Ramen" or "Japanese" noodles, this interpretation is now being applied to oriental noodles other than chow mein noodles and Chinese noodles. These products are not considered to be in violation of the standard of identity for noodles providing that labeling is adequate to prevent misinterpretation by the consumer.


Oriental-style noodles, such as "Japanese," "Ramen," "Chinese," and "chow mein" noodles, are not considered to be the article described by the standards of identity for noodles. Although the composition and appearance of oriental-style noodles may resemble the standardized article, such products are considered not to be in violation of the standard providing they are not represented to be the standardized article.

When such products are labeled "noodles," the descriptor or qualifying term (e.g., "Chinese," "Chow Mein," "Japanese," "Japanese-Style," "Ramen," "Ramen Japanese-Style," "Oriental," "Oriental-Style") should immediately precede "noodles." Both the descriptor and "noodles" should appear in the same type size, style, color, and background contrast.

Issued: 12/3/73
Revised: 10/1/80, 3/8/88, 8/96

Page Last Updated: 03/20/2015
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