Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
January 30, 2007








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
HOFEX 2007
Technomic Tweaks 2007 Forecast, Boosts Full Service
Consumers' Mood Improves As Gasoline Prices Fall
Outlooks Tick Up In Europe, China, Down Elsewhere

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
A.J. Antunes & Co.
NRA Names 19 Products KI Award Recipients
Last Roundup For Charity Riders To NAFEM Show?
California Utilities Tell How To Boost Profits With Energy Savings
New Discoveries May Help Prevent E. Coli Outbreaks
Where's Kevin Bacon When We Need Him?



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In This Section:
New Jersey's New Food Code Finally Nods To FDA
California Food Code To Change July 1
Georgia's New Food Code Finally Kicks In
New Code Says You Have To Be Green To Build In Santa Cruz
County Inspection Grades Clearer Than Dancing Rules

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: HOFEX 2007 | Industry Report
Sponsor: A.J. Antunes & Co.
Regulatory Report Sponsored by Lincoln Foodservice Products Inc./Enodis

New Jersey's New Food Code Finally Nods To FDA
New Jersey, one of the last states to model its food code after the Food & Drug Administration's Model Food Code, has finally decided to hold out no more. The state's new food code, effective since Jan. 2, is based on 2001 and '05 versions of the FDA code. The new state code's changes are the most sweeping in 30 years.

The new code now gives much clearer guidance on a number of food safety issues like handwashing, cooking times and temperatures, and food holding temperatures.

The biggest changes include the new handwashing and no-bare-hand contact rules; a new refrigeration requirement to hold cold food at 41°F; a way of classifying the risk factors in foodservice and retail food facilities based on the complexity of food prep and cooking operations; and cooking time and temperature rules. The new code also requires all facilities to have a certified food manager by Jan. 2, 2010.

While the new rules are already in effect, the state health department has said it's urging local health inspectors to take department training sessions before inspecting restaurants under the new rules. And it wants them to educate operators on the new rules before considering enforcement action.

For more information, check out www.nj.gov/health/eoh/documents/chapter24_effective_1207.pdf

 

California Food Code To Change July 1
Just a reminder to any of you who have trouble keeping track of all 50 states and their food codes: California's updated code, based on the FDA Model Food Code, will go into effect this summer.

So the old California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law is out, and the new California Retail Food Code (CalCode) is in. The California Department of Health Services is working with local health departments to train inspectors and staff on the new regulations with an eye toward making inspections more consistent across the state.

Rulemaking is still in progress, so the actual code hasn't been posted yet, but it should be pretty close to the 2001 FDA Model Food Code that other states have adopted. Stay tuned.

Georgia's New Food Code Finally Kicks In
Georgia's new food code, tentatively approved and adopted January last year, is now officially in place. The code, based on the Food & Drug Administration Model Food Code, will go into effect statewide in December, although counties might implement it earlier.

The only thing at issue when the new code was adopted last year was the state's plan to use letter grades on restaurant inspections for the first time, and what kinds of infractions could be sustained before losing a top grade. After much wrangling with the restaurant industry as well as food safety groups, the state this month finalized a plan everyone can live with.

You'd still get a letter grade (A, B, C or U), but the state has modified the plan to include a numeric score along with the letter grade, and results are required to be posted within 15 feet of your door (and on the drive-thru window if you have one). You still can keep your A if you get just one critical violation, but the state gets to take off more points for lesser violations if they're recurring. You also can reduce your inspections to one a year if you get three consecutive A's.

Other significant changes include a no-bare-hand contact rule for preparation of ready-to-eat foods and a requirement for managers to take a certified food safety manager's course and pass a state test.

New Code Says You Have To Be Green To Build In Santa Cruz
From now on, if you want to build in Santa Cruz, Calif., your design has to include at least some green elements. The city's new building code uses the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design, or LEED rating system, established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The ratings give you points for green design elements, such as using sustainable building materials, complying with ASHRAE 55-1992 for thermal comfort and optimizing the building's energy performance. You need seven points out of a possible 75 to get a building permit from the city. Design 33 points into your project, and you get accelerated permit processing from the city. Forty points earns you a Green Building award.

For more information on the new code requirements, go to www.ci.santa-cruz.ca.us.

County Inspection Grades Clearer Than Dancing Rules
Pinal County, Ariz., officials have been wrestling lately with what to do about loud outdoor dancing (see story in Industry Report section), but they're real clear about what they're doing with health department inspections.

The Pinal County Environmental Health Department now posts letter grades of restaurant inspections on its web site. The five inspectors who cover foodservice facilities now post inspection results and include letter grades: "E" for "excellent," "S" for "satisfactory," "N" for "needs improvement" and "U" for "unsatisfactory."

If you get an E, it means you had no critical violations. Postings are at www.co.pinal.az.us/EnvHealth.

Pinal County sprawls from southeast of Phoenix and Northeast of Tucson, including cities such as Casa Grande, Florence and Pinal.



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