Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
March 9, 2010








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Henny Penny
January NRA Index Falls, But Expectations Rise
Wholesale Food Prices Up As Menu-Price Increases Moderate
Demographics Driving Drop In Restaurant Evening-Meal Visits, NPD Says
Revised FER 2010 E&S Forecast Available

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
Hardee's Parent CKE To Be Acquired
Scotsman Issues Voluntary Cuber Recall
India Is New Focus For Yum!
Subway Tops 32,000 Stores, Eyes Boston Expansion
Carlson Taps New Leadership For T.G.I. Friday's
NAFEM Announces New Officers, Directors



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In This Section:
Virginia Ponders Tracking Grease Handlers
Starbucks Opts For Local Laws On Handguns
Grease Traps Spur Local Ordinances
Kentucky Implements New Food-Safety Code

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

Virginia Ponders Tracking Grease Handlers
Most state governments are scrambling to cover budget deficits. In Virginia, legislators are considering a number of bills affecting the foodservice industry. Among them are two different House and Senate bills that would allow county governments to impose or increase a tax on restaurant meals by a majority vote. Counties are presently required to hold a referendum to impose a meals tax. The Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association opposes both HB 1138 and SB 280.

Of equal interest to many operators is HB 1353. The proposed bill would require “any person who transports waste kitchen grease” to register with the state's department of agriculture unless he or she qualifies for an individual exemption. The bill also creates penalties for not registering. According to Katie Hellebush, director of government relations at the VHTA, the bill was submitted at the request of a single, unnamed company. The term “transports” appears to be a broad definition covering both foodservice workers and transport truckers. The association is keeping an eye on the bill but has taken a neutral stance. It has been referred to a special Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources subcommittee.

 

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Starbucks Opts For Local Laws On Handguns
Forty-three states now allow unconcealed handguns, and the issue of “open carry” has come home for some chains. Last week, after months of pressure from both sides of the gun-control debate, Starbucks issued a statement clarifying its position. Although gun-control advocates had been petitioning Starbucks to ban guns on its premises, the Seattle-based company opted to follow local laws permitting guns in its stores.

"While we deeply respect the views of all of our customers, Starbucks' long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged," the company said in a statement. "We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve. In this case, 43 of the 50 U.S. states have open- carry weapon laws. Where these laws don't exist, we comply with laws that prohibit the open carrying of weapons. The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.”

Starbucks, with about 4,970 company-operated stores in those states with open-carry laws, said adopting a policy different from local laws would place its employees in unfair and potentially unsafe positions.

The Seattle chain first saw the gun-toting gatherings at its stores in northern California after two other chains, Peet's Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen, put policies in place to prevent gun owners from carrying firearms in their stores. In mid-February, Buckthorn Grill also banned guns except those carried by police officers.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Grease Traps Spur Local Ordinances
Overflowing grease traps are fueling a growing number of local ordinances. Beginning last month, Maywood, N.J., requires all restaurants and foodservice operations install and maintain grease traps on any equipment that discharges to a sewer. The ordinance was prompted by buildup in a grease trap that nearly stopped business on a major thoroughfare there in January.

The ordinance requires grease traps be installed on all dishwashing equipment, drains or sinks discharging into the sanitary sewer. Restaurant owners in the Bergen County town must maintain the traps and clean all accumulated grease on at least a monthly basis. Owners would be required to pay, in whole or in part, for the cleaning and clearance of any blockages, and bear the costs of any sewer backups that caused damage to property as well as for damage to the sewer system itself.

The West Coast has its stories, too. The Stockton, Calif., city council has passed a new ordinance stepping up inspections of the underground vaults where restaurant grease collects and can overflow onto streets and seep into storm drains. Since September, the city has regularly inspected these exterior grease traps. Under the new rules, indoor inspections will be added to ensure best practices at restaurants and other facilities that handle grease. In addition, businesses must pump out their grease four times a year.

According to the city, grease, fats and oils account for nearly 40% of overflows greater than 100 gals. Since 2002, Stockton has averaged at least one sewer overflow per day. The city's Web site includes new requirements for restaurants to avoid sewer-line overflows. They include:

  • Pump grease interceptors four times a year and make sure their contents are less than 25% grease or other solids. Restaurants without an interceptor may need to install one.
  • Keep records of pumping and cleaning.
  • Recycle yellow grease or throw it away with absorbent material in a leak-proof bag. Don't pour it down the drain.
Read more at www.stocktongov.com/MUD/FOGforBusinesses.cfm.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Kentucky Implements New Food-Safety Code
Kentucky is making some long-delayed updates to its food code, which could prompt refrigeration-equipment purchases. The code that governs food regulations across the commonwealth had not been substantially revised since 1976. The new version, approved last year and effective May 1, adopts changes made in 2005 to the Food and Drug Administration's Model Food Code and puts Kentucky in line with national standards.

Among the significant updates is the requirement that cold food be stored at 41°F instead of 45°F. Operators and business owners will have five years from the effective date to upgrade their refrigeration equipment.

Among other improvements, the new code requires that businesses and facilities employ someone who has knowledge of food safety and its relationship to food-borne illnesses. The changes also charge operators with the responsibility to exclude or restrict ill workers with communicable diseases, such as norovirus, E. coli, salmonella or hepatitis A.

Kentucky's health department is working with the state food industry to update operators on the newly adopted regulations and is conducting regional training for local health departments to educate food inspectors about changes to the code.

To read Kentucky's amended code, visit www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/902/045/005.htm. The FDA model code can be found at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/foodcode.html.



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