Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
April 18, 2006








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
FER E&S Market Forecast Meetings
Higher Income Households Drive Consumer Confidence Surge
NRA's Restaurant Performance Index: Steady Ahead

Industry Report:
FER Names Industry Service, Dealer Award Winners
It's Registration Time For Supply Managers
D.C. Biker Chefs Ride Against Hunger
Famous Dave's Inks Orange County Franchise Deal
Yum! Brands Opens First Russian Co-Brand KFC
CFESA Announces New Membership Directory



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In This Section:
Junk Food In Schools Blown Into Federal Case
New Jersey Updating Its Food Code
Smoking Bans: Confusion; Extension; Toothlessness?

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: FER E&S Market Forecast Meetings |  Industry Report

Regulatory Report Sponsored by HOSFAIR GUANGZHOU & HOSFAIR XI'AN 2006

Junk Food In Schools Blown Into Federal Case
Following examples from several states, a bill was introduced in both houses of Congress in early April that would effectively ban junk food in schools, at least during the school day.

An amendment to the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2006 would set new standards for "food of minimal nutritional value" and extend them to foods outside the School Lunch Program.

The United States Department of Agriculture, which governs the National School Lunch Program, narrowly defines minimally nutritious foods as things like soda and candy, and only limits their use in meals. The new law would include foods sold in vending machines or school stores under an updated definition that conforms with current nutrition science.

If enacted, the bill would take effect at the beginning of the school year following its passage.

 

New Jersey Updating Its Food Code
New Jersey just closed a public comment period on proposed new food safety rules. The state's existing food code is based on the Food and Drug Administration's 1976 Model Food Code. Proposed rules would be based on 2001 and '05 versions.

Those of you who have seen food code changes in other states know the drill. Most of the code changes involve proper food cooking, holding and storage temperatures; limitation of bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods; proper handwashing procedures; and food labeling. Plus one more: Each operation now must have at least one certified food protection manager on staff.

No word yet on when the new code might take effect, but you'll likely have some time to make changes and train employees. Other states that have enacted updates also have given operators up to five years to update refrigeration equipment.

Smoking Bans: Confusion, Extension, Toothlessness?
If we ran stories on every new smoking regulation popping up, we'd all go catatonic. But we have to at least do a sampling from time to time.

Famous for going its own way, Cook County, Ill., left some towns in a state of confusion last month after passing a new smoking ban. The county's law would make it illegal to smoke in all public places except nursing homes and private clubs by March, 2007, unless a municipality already has a smoking ordinance. The new law leaves open the possibility for towns without an ordinance to create their own, however. A number of Chicago's suburbs now mull leaving their fates to the county ban or establishing their own.

Meanwhile, private clubs wanting to retain smoking rights in Massachusetts suffered a setback when that state's supreme court ruled that they are subject to the state's '04 smoking ban. The state law, which exempts private and membership clubs, allows local health departments and municipalities to set more stringent smoking ordinances than the state's. Several towns have already implemented bans, and private clubs within those jurisdictions now have to get in line.

And this, from the Bark is Worse Than Bite Department: The smoking ban passed ten months ago in Wheeling, W. Va., is being flouted by many bars and some restaurants there. The Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health has yet to enforce the ordinance, but health department administrator Cindi Shockey says it's only a matter of time. The health department last year got a court order to enforce one restaurant to comply, but its inspectors have yet to write up others. Of 55 counties in the state, 54 have clean air ordinances, four of which prohibit public smoking in all but a few places.



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