Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
April 19, 2005

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In This Section:
Utah County Puts On The Gloves
Colorado Closing In On Energy Regs For Refrigerators, Freezers
Judge Calls For Delay in San Diego’s Time-Of-Use Rate Plan
Grease Trap Rule Catches Restaurants Off Guard

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Utah County Puts On The Gloves
The Utah County Board of Health now requires foodservice employees to wear gloves or handle ready-to-eat foods with utensils or deli tissue. The Board voted March 28 on the no bare-hand contact rule because of consumer complaints about restaurants workers not using gloves when touching food.

Restaurants in nearby Salt Lake City and other communities under the jurisdiction of the Salt Lake Valley Health Department have operated with a similar policy for about five years.

At a public hearing in Provo prior to the vote, restaurateurs testified against the rule, arguing that glove use detracts from efforts to educate the industry on effective handwashing, and isn’t any more effective at preventing foodborne illness.

Health department officials countered with studies that show handwashing alone isn’t as effective at preventing the spread of viral infections as glove use, though it does effectively deter bacterial growth.

Foodservice workers are still allowed to work without gloves as long as they don’t handle ready-to-eat food with their bare hands. For those items, they can use utensils such as tongs or spatulas or deli tissue instead. The health department also noted that you can request exceptions to the rule if your operation has specific problems or needs.


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Colorado Closing In On Energy Regs For Refrigerators, Freezers
The energy efficiency movement is on the march again, this time to Colorado, where the state is waiting to see whether Governor Bill Owens signs or vetoes Appliance Efficiency Standards Bill, HB 1162.

Products that would be affected include commercial refrigerators and freezers, clothes washers, large air conditioning units and pre-rinse spray valves, to name a few. These appliances are not already covered by federal efficiency standards.

If signed, the bill would require energy efficiency standards of new equipment named in the bill as early as 2008. Existing equipment, however, could still be used.

California, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey have already adopted similar standards, and Washington state is considering a bill that matches California’s.

Although the Colorado Restaurant Association supports energy efficiency efforts, it has asked the governor to veto the bill. According to CRA President Peter Meersman, the measures are not supported by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers, and would create challenges to anyone trying to follow national standards.

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Judge Calls For Delay in San Diego’s Time-Of-Use Rate Plan
San Diego Gas & Electric may have to pull the plug on its plan to implement a time-of-use rate schedule this year.

A California Public Utilities Commission judge in late March concluded SDG&E would not have sufficient time to implement its plan and suggested delaying the plan until next year or later. Two other large California utilities had submitted similar plans and received similar advice.

SDG&E submitted a plan to CPUC earlier this year to install new meters that would enable it to charge customers more for power used during peak demand periods. To encourage conservation, the utility would have charged less for electricity consumed during off-peak hours. Most customers, it said, would not see much of an increase in their bills. But large customers, like grocery stores and big-box retailers, protested that the plan would disproportionately punish them without reducing peak demand during the hot summer months.

Judge Michelle Cook proposed SDG&E submit the time-of-use plan as part of a comprehensive rate redesign for implementation in 2006 or ’07. Her proposal must be approved by CPUC commissioners, who are scheduled to decide the issue on April 21.

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Grease Trap Rule Catches Restaurants Off Guard
Restaurateurs in Bremerton, Wash., who have been required by the city to install costly grease interceptors are grumbling about haphazard enforcement.

City code, similar to that in most sewer districts in the state and many around the country, requires new restaurants and those changing their use or causing sewer overflows to install grease interceptor systems. The city uses a uniform plumbing code to determine what size trap restaurants must install.

Bremerton has enforced the code more stringently recently, causing some restaurants to complain they weren’t aware of the rule. Others say it’s unfair to require only some, not all, restaurants to install traps. Bremerton public works director Phil Williams countered by saying the city enforces the rule, but also tries to be flexible and doesn’t "beat up on" restaurants if they’re not causing a problem.

One restaurateur, after being asked by the city to install a system it claimed would have cost $36,000, negotiated a compromise. The operation is now testing a much less expensive grease trap system under its sink to see if it alleviates the clogged pipes leading to the sewer.

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