Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
January 7, 2010

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Henny Penny
Commodities Prices To Rise Over Next Two Years
Back To Waffling: NRA Index Falls Again In November
State Tax Revenues Decline Again By Double Digits
FER E&S Forecast Now Available For Only $249

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
IFMA Opens Voting To Honor Regional Chains
Obit: Industry Veteran Ray Donovan
EQ Or IQ: FEDA To Examine Why Businesses Succeed
Middleby Finalizes Doyon Deal
Vollrath Acquires Lincoln Smallwares
Snap-Drape Now Known As Forbes Group

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In This Section:
California Trans-Fat Ban Now In Effect
Illinois Fire Marshal Clarifies New Code Requirements
More Towns Work To Lift FOG
North Carolina, Michigan Join List Of Smoke-Free States

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Henny Penny 
Industry Report Sponsor: Server Products 
Regulatory Report Manitowoc Foodservice

California Trans-Fat Ban Now In Effect
In the "In Case You Forgot" file: California's ban on cooking with products containing trans-fat took effect Jan. 1.

You'd probably be hard-pressed to find a supplier in California who's still selling such trans fat products anyway, however. The first, and so far only, state to bar restaurants from cooking with oils, shortenings or margarines that contain trans fat, California passed the law in 2008, but gave the industry a year to find alternative products.

Bakeries, though, have an extra year yet to stop using products containing trans fat. You can still serve baked goods and pre-packaged products made with trans fat until the full ban goes into effect in '11.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Illinois Fire Marshal Clarifies New Code Requirements
Illinois' adoption of National Fire Protection Agency standards in its recent fire-code update apparently has had some operators burning up. They've been so hot under the collar, in fact, that the state fire marshal's office has issued a clarification.

As we told you back in November, the state's new fire code requires, effective Jan. 1, non-governmental foodservice kitchens to have an Underwriters Laboratories UL 300-compliant fire-suppression system. (Governmental facilities such as schools and correctional facilites have until Jan. 1, 2011, to comply.) Since existing dry-chemical suppression systems cannot meet the standard, the effect is that they must be replaced by wet-chemical systems.

The complications came when operators who needed to upgrade went to suppliers who gave them quotes for new hoods and ductwork as part of the new suppression systems. The exorbitant cost had some operators screaming "fire." Three state reps organized a meeting to address the issue.

Because of the misinformation, the state fire marshal's office issued clarifications to the code in an e-mail to both fire officials and licensed fire-equipment distributors around the state. The new code only requires upgrades to the hood, exhaust vents and ducts if there have been substantial changes in an operator's kitchen equipment or placement, according to Kenneth Wood, the director of technical services for the state fire marshal. Otherwise, the new code allows you to install a new suppression system in the existing hood and ventilation system.

For more information, go to the fire marshal's website at and click on the link to fire-code updates.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

More Towns Work To Lift FOG
If you have a sense of déjà vu reading about Fats-Oils-Grease ordinances, you're not alone. But in an ongoing effort to prevent sanitary sewer overflows, or SSOs, and comply with Environmental Protection Agency rules, water utilities across the country continue to update rules governing what customers can flush down their drains. And here are a couple more towns you can add to your list of those updating their FOG regulations:

City council members in Colfax, Calif., approved a new ordinance in December that requires all restaurants to have a grease trap or interceptor as of Jan. 15. The city plans to inspect all restaurants in the coming months and decide on a case-by-case basis if their grease traps or removal systems need to be upgraded.

Shelton, Wash., put a new FOG ordinance on the books, too, giving restaurants a year to comply with "best management practices" to reduce fats, oils and grease in their wastewater. Depending on the operation, that reduction could entail the installation or upgrade of a grease-removal system. The city plans to coordinate with the county health department to educate operators about the new requirements.

Valdosta, Ga., experienced an SSO recently that spurred the city's utility department to start work on an updated FOG ordinance. Look for new rules to be issued in March.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

North Carolina, Michigan Join List Of Smoke-Free States
In case you missed it, one of the last bastions of tobacco country went (almost) smoke-free Jan. 2, and another hardcore smoking state will go cold turkey in May.

North Carolina's smoking ban, which just took effect, applies to restaurants, bars and hotels and motels if food is prepared there. Lodging facilities can set aside up to 20% of rooms for smokers, but the rest have to be smoke-free. Smoking is still allowed in private clubs, cigar bars and "establishments that are exempt from state sanitation laws" (we don't want to know). Businesses can be fined up to $200 a day for letting patrons light up, and smokers face a fine of up to $50 for indulging their habit where prohibited.

Michigan plans on cracking down even harder on violators when its smoking ban takes effect in May. There, smokers can be fined $100 for the first offense and $500 for a second offense if they light up in the wrong place. That would be just about any public place except casinos, cigar bars, specialty tobacco stores, personal vehicles and home offices.

Some 37 states now have some sort of ban on smoking in public places. Michigan's legislature debated the issue for 10 years before passing a law.

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