Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
January 29, 2008








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc
Foodservice Group

Technomic Revises Op Forecast To Negative, With Bright Spots
Foodservice Equipments Reports To Release Revised E&S Forecast At MUFES Meeting
Dare We Bring Up Macroeconomic Trends?
What, Us Worry? McDonald's To Spend $2 Billion On Capital Projects

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
FHA2008
Uncle Sam's Census Bureau Wants You!
NRA Names 25 Innovation Award Recipients
PG&E Buys Into Wave Power
Red Robin Goes Bob-Bob-Bobbin' For Franchise Stores



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In This Section:
New York City Counts Calories With New Rule
Beantown Weighs Ban Of 'Bad' Fat
China Bans Disposable Plastic Bags
Alabama Town Considers New FOG Laws
Bastions Of Tobacco Falling To Smoking Bans

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

New York City Counts Calories With New Rule
It was a seesaw battle spanning more than a year, but as expected, the New York City Board of Health earlier this month approved a new ordinance requiring chains to post calorie counts on menu boards, menus and package tags. The rule goes into effect March 31 and affects any chain with 15 or more stores nationwide.

In September a judge shot down the city's first attempt to regulate how restaurants post nutrition information. That ordinance, passed in December 2006, was supposed to go into effect last July and would have required chains with 10 or more units that already provide consumers with some sort of nutrition information to post calorie counts on menu boards. A lawsuit then filed by the state restaurant association tied up enforcement of the rule, and a federal judge decided the ordinance conflicted with federal nutritional labeling laws by narrowing it only to chains that already provide nutrition info in some other format. The judge opened the door, however, to allow the city to rewrite the ordinance.

Chuck Hunt, a spokesperson for the New York Restaurant Association, said NYRA hasn't yet decided whether to challenge the new ordinance in court. The association has stated the ordinance will put an unfair cost burden on small franchisees.

 

Section sponsored by Enodis

Beantown Weighs Ban Of 'Bad' Fat
Boston, a town best known for baked beans, New England clam chowder and rowdy tea parties, is set to ban trans fat, pending a public comment period and a hearing.

Following the lead of New York and Boston's nearby neighbor, Brookline, Mass., Boston's Public Health Commission recently proposed an ordinance that would bar restaurants from using trans fats in any cooking oil or other products.

The ordinance is open to public comment until March 13, when the Board of Health will hold a public hearing slated for 3 p.m. before finalizing the language of the ordinance. You can send written comments to the Boston Public Health Commission, Board Office, attention: Julie Webster, 1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02118, or send email to boardofhealth@bphc.org.

In its current form, the ordinance would take effect in two phases starting six months after it's passed, meaning sometime in the fall, most likely. The first phase bans cooking oils, margarines and spreads containing trans fat. Six months later, you won't be able to serve baked goods or other foods containing trans fat. For more information on the ordinance, go to http://www.bphc.org/board/pdfs/regs_proposed-transfat-Jan08.pdf.


Section sponsored by Enodis

China Bans Disposable Plastic Bags
If you're doing business in China and using disposable plastic bags, you're in for a change.

China recently banned the landfill-clogging, energy-using bags and also raised vehicle fuel economy standards. The announcements put China in the lead, globally, on both environmental issues.

China has been battling severe air pollution and litter while it prepares for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The new rule on plastic bags, which takes effect June 1, bars use of thin bags (less than 0.025 mm). The Chinese now use up to 3 billion bags a day, according to a report on the China Trade News website, few of them recycled.

Only three other countries have imposed rules on plastic bags, and San Francisco so far is the only U.S. city to ban them.


Section sponsored by Enodis

Alabama Town Considers New FOG Laws
If you plan on opening a place in Fort Payne, Ala., soon you may have to put in a bigger grease trap than you're used to. The town council is considering an ordinance requiring new restaurants to build a 1,000-gal. grease trap.

The city already has an ordinance to help address fats, oils and grease effluent, commonly abbreviated as FOG. Restaurants must presently empty their grease traps every 60 days. However, Robin Campbell, the city's wastewater treatment plant superintendent, said as the city grows, grease from residences and restaurants that don't properly maintain their grease traps could cause greatly increased sewer backups.

City council member Andrew Hairston said the regulation on the books just needs to be enforced rather than burdening business with more rules. Council president Johnny Eberhart promised more discussion before the city decides on the proposal.


Section sponsored by Enodis

Bastions Of Tobacco Falling To Smoking Bans
Now that Turkey, home of the hookah, and France, origin of café culture, have implemented smoking bans in public places, you'd think there aren't many places left that allow smoking.

Now Thailand has announced it will expand a ban it already had in place in public places such as government buildings, train stations and hospitals. As of Feb. 11, the ban will also extend to restaurants, bars and open public markets.

The latest U.S. locales to consider smoking regulation include Woodford County, Ky., once among the top five burley tobacco producers in the state, and Person County, N.C.

Taking its lead from nearby Madison County, which recently banned smoking, Woodford County plans to restrict smoking in all public places, including outdoor spaces within 25 feet of a building entrance. Both counties are relatively close to Lexington, which banned smoking in 2003.

Person County commissioners recently voted to ask the county health department to institute an ordinance barring smokers from county buildings. The commissioners themselves have the authority to legislate the ban, but only outside the city limits of Roxboro, the county seat. The health department has broader scope when it comes to public health issues like smoking, the commissioners said.

Janet Clayton, health director for Person County, said she supports the request. The ordinance won't affect smoking in restaurants and bars.



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