Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
March 23, 2010

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Henny Penny
Public E&S Companies Not So Negative In Q4
Full-Service Same-Store Sales Also Not So Negative
Technomic Sees Slow Recovery, Challenges Ahead
Strong INTERNORGA Looks Good For Foodservice In Europe
Get Your FER 2010 E&S Market Forecast While Supplies Last

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
A.J. Antunes & Co.
Panera Boasts Full Calorie Disclosure
Long-Term Plans Cooking At Tim Hortons
Philippines To Welcome Eight P.F. Chang?s
New Concepts Driving Johnny Rockets Expansion
Curran Heads Canada?s Restaurant Association
IFMA Announces Silver Plate Winners
Hobart Offers Fourth Annual Sustainability Grant

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In This Section:
UPDATE MARCH 29, 2010: Maid-Rite Wins On Food Safety
NYC To Restaurateurs: Make The Grade
NSF Partners With MET Labs

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Henny Penny 
Industry Report Sponsor: A.J. Antunes & Co. 
Regulatory Report Manitowoc Foodservice

UPDATE MARCH 29, 2010: Maid-Rite Wins On Food Safety
Food safety triumphed earlier this week when the Iowa House of Representatives rejected a Senate-approved waiver amendment allowing a local Maid-Rite franchisee to thwart federal and state food-safety standards and continue operating out of compliance with the food-safe standards stipulated by franchisor Maid-Rite Corp. and practiced by its other franchisees in 10 states.

As originally reported in last week's March 23, 2010 FER Fortnightly, Taylor's Maid-Rite in Marshalltown, Iowa, had lobbied lawmakers to continue its 82-year practice of co-mingling raw and cooked ground beef together in a single-unit griddle cooker. The store's cooker has only a single divider that separates the raw ground beef from cooked ready-to-serve product. In order to comply with various food codes and the company's stipulated cooking practices, Taylor's Maid-Rite simply needs to segregate the cooked ground beef by transferring it from the griddle cooker to a separate steam table with warming pans for making the chain's signature loose-meat sandwiches.

Since buying the 80-unit Des Moines, Iowa, chain in 2001, Maid-Rite president and CEO Bradley Burt has been updating franchisees' operations, equipment, cooking processes and quality standards, including implementing food-safety procedures. The Marshalltown store is one of only two franchise units in Iowa that do not comply with the company's specified food-safe cooking practices.

Taylor's Maid-Rite is a popular local restaurant, according to Burt, but its cooking practices violate the Federal Food Code Sec. 3 302.11, Iowa Code Ch. 137F, and Maid-Rite's foodservice specified standards. "My job in the interest of food safety is to protect the health and well-being of our customers and our brand."

Upon learning about the Iowa Senate's pending vote on the waiver earlier this month, Burt contacted the Food and Drug Administration; the Iowa Dept. of Inspections and Appeals; the National Environmental Health Association; and the Iowa Restaurant Association to rally support against the waiver amendment.

Letters were sent to state senators and representatives to acquaint them with food safety standards which guard against potential cross-contamination. Alerted by Burt, Maid-Rite's 39 other Iowa franchisees contacted their state reps to register their opposition to the waiver and concern that passing it could potentially harm their own restaurants, which are in compliance with company standards.

Burt has offered to pay for the necessary upgraded steam-table equipment and design services for the Taylor Maid-Rite to bring it into compliance with Maid-Rite standards and all food safety codes. "The tradition of using an old-fashioned griddle cooker for the aesthetic look in a restaurant should not be most important; food safety for customers must always come first," said Burt.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

NYC To Restaurateurs: Make The Grade
St. Patrick's Day in New York City brought more than the wearing o' the green. It brought some red faces. Under a health department rule passed a day earlier and effective in July, all city restaurants will soon be required to prominently post letter grades based on health inspections. According to Dr. Thomas Farley, NYC's health commissioner, transparency and food-safety are the goals. "The grade in the window will give you a sense of how clean the kitchen is, and it will give every restaurant operator an incentive to maintain safe, sanitary conditions."

The city's health department inspects 24,000 restaurants a year and posts scored reports on its Web site. The inspection process won't change under the new system, but Farley says the new letter grades will be simpler and more accessible than numerical scores. Under the new transparency plan, a restaurant receiving an "A" grade will post it at the end of the inspection; a restaurant receiving a grade lower than an "A" will not have to post it until it has a chance to improve its sanitary conditions. The health department will return within a month to conduct a second inspection. Restaurant operators who contest their assigned grades will be able to post "grade pending" signs and protest at an administrative hearing. Some operators argue that health officials want to embarrass them, as well as collect more fines for the city's coffers.

For more information, go to

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

NSF Partners With MET Labs
NSF Int'l. is partnering with MET Laboratories to expand its electrical testing and certification services. The two companies plan to bundle their health effects and electrical safety testing capabilities for commercial and residential food equipment, plumbing products and other markets.

NSF Int'l. has been in the business of standards writing and certification for 65 years. It has 45 office locations in more than two dozen countries, including China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Thailand. MET Laboratories is headquartered in Baltimore. MET has been testing the safety of electrical products for more than 50 years; it is the first Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) in the United States. It has offices in Union City and Santa Clara, California, as well as Shenzhen City in Guangdong Province, China.

For more information, go to

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