Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
January 3, 2008

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Foodservice Group

Special 2008 Forecast Report: FER Predicts 1.5% Real Growth For E&S Manufacturers Sales
NRA Index Falls To Lowest Level Since 2003
Operator Forecasts: Both NRA, Technomic Predict Real Growth
Mountain States Again To Lead Growth

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Arby's Goes Green With Solar Power
Upstart Cuppy's Coffee Takes On Starbucks
McDonald's Thinks 'Green' Globally, Acts Locally
Pollo Campero Plans For 120 More

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In This Section:
Want A Squeeze Of Germs—Er, Lime—With That?
San Francisco Considers Calorie Posting On Menu Boards
New HET Toilet List, World Toilet Association Debut
Santa Monica Takes Out Polystyrene Takeout Packaging On Feb. 9
China Gets The Lead Out On Food Safety Law

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group 
Industry Report Sponsor: FHA2008
Regulatory Report Enodis

Want A Squeeze Of Germs—Er, Lime—With That?
With more states adopting the Food and Drug Administration's new Model Food Code, as Georgia recently did, more health departments are implementing "no bare-hand contact" rules. And watch yourselves: While many of us think the rule pertains primarily to kitchen employees or servers, that's not necessarily so.

A New York City health inspector, for example, recently cited a bar because its employees didn't use gloves or tongs to garnish drinks.

That olive, orange slice, lemon twist and lime wedge in your drink count as ready-to-eat food, which technically makes them off limits to bare-hand contact. Health experts say that though citrus fruit is too acidic for germs to grow, and alcohol kills them, garnishes can still carry pathogens—on the skin of a lime, for example—and the alcohol in a beverage may not be sufficient to effectively kill all pathogens.

Since bartenders everywhere are loathe to wear latex gloves in front of customers, and say tongs take too much time, you could be caught in a squeeze of your own. But you can implement changes that will work without disturbing your customers' experience.

Bartenders have learned to use scoops to prevent ice from being contaminated. And the best solution for the ready-to-eat garnishes might be to train your bartenders to wash them thoroughly and wear gloves when cutting them. And you may want to order in a supply of toothpicks before your local health inspector comes in for a drink at the bar.


Section sponsored by Enodis

San Francisco Considers Calorie Posting On Menu Boards
On the heels of Santa Clara County, Calif.'s, recent decision to propose calorie posting on menu boards, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has introduced a similar ordinance. The proposed rule would require chain restaurants to post total calories next to each standard menu item on the menu board and on packaging. The ordinance also would require stores to post calories, saturated fat, carbohydrates and sodium on menus.

Governor Schwarzenegger in October vetoed a similar state law to require calorie posting on menu boards, saying it would place an undue cost burden on smaller franchise operators, a perspective espoused by the California Restaurant Association. Local governments, however, can enact their own rules.

San Francisco supervisors have sent the proposed ordinance to the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee for review under the city's 30-day rule.

Section sponsored by Enodis

New HET Toilet List, World Toilet Association Debut
Two stories in one here, the first fairly straight-faced, the second with a bit of a smile if you look up the picture on the Internet:

First, if you're looking to conserve water, listen up: The California Urban Water Conservation Council has published an updated list of high-efficiency toilets that meet Uniform North American Requirements UNAR.

Of the 158 models that qualified for the list, 125 also qualify for the Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program.

Similar to Energy Star, WaterSense helps businesses and consumers identify products that help conserve water. The only reason for the differences between the lists, according to those who compiled the UNAR list, is that the EPA hasn't yet tested all the 33 UNAR-listed models.

To see the list of UNAR-qualified HETs, go to

For more information on EPA's WaterSense program, visit

And in other related news, Koreans take toilets so seriously that an international assembly gathered in South Korea in November to form the World Toilet Association. The group's goal is to "build and improve sanitation conditions on a sustainable basis, advocating and raising awareness on sanitation issues worldwide." To commemorate the group's formation, the representative from Korea, Sim Jae-Duck, "Mr. Toilet" to those who know him, built a toilet-shaped house. Mr. Sim says he built it "as a place of culture where people can rest, meditate and be happy."

You can see photos of the modern architecture, fashioned as an ode to a commode, so to speak, at this link:

Section sponsored by Enodis

Santa Monica Takes Out Polystyrene Takeout Packaging On Feb. 9
On Feb. 9, Santa Monica, Calif., joins the list of about a dozen other cities that ban polystyrene containers. The city passed an ordinance last year that banned foamed plastic containers and other non-recyclable plastic at all city facilities and functions last February and prohibits restaurants from using them starting this year.

The city has put together lists of acceptable take-out packaging you can use, including aluminum, coated and uncoated paper, recyclable plastic and biodegradable packaging, as well as packaging suppliers. (You can find a list of distributors at

San Francisco and Oakland also put polystyrene bans in place during the past year. Santa Monica's ordinance differs from other bans, however, in that it includes all non-recyclable plastics, not just polystyrene. (Some newer biodegradable products made from corn, bamboo or sugar cane are acceptable.) The city will issue a warning for the first violation, a $100 fine for the second and $250 fines for all subsequent violations.

In addition to several cities and counties in California with partial or complete bans, Portland, Ore., and Freeport, Me., also prohibit polystyrene.

Section sponsored by Enodis

China Gets The Lead Out On Food Safety Law
Lead in toys hasn't been China's only problem in the past year or so. Food safety, too, has been a headache there—so much so that the head of the country's food and drug administration was executed in July for corruption, and Chinese officials have been trying for much of the past year to get the lead out on a new food safety law to replace the existing Food Hygiene Law.

A draft of new food safety regulations was finally presented to China's top legislature in late December. Though some experts are disappointed that the new law doesn't change how food safety is supervised—presently overseen by six separate agencies—the draft does call for establishment of scientifically-based national standards, strict examination of food imports and exports in accordance with those standards, a national labeling system with ingredient statements and expiration dates, a national recall and public information system, and a state-level food safety risk assessment committee.

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