Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
May 2, 2006








Economic Report:
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FER E&S Economic Forecast Meetings
Commodities Costs Forecast To Rise 11%
General Economy Shows Surprising Strength
Blue Chip Still Predicts A Second-Half U.S Slowdown

Industry Report:
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Server Products
Join FER, FER Fortnightly At NRA Show's KI Pavilion
Alto-Shaam Founder Maahs Dies
Taylor Co. Mourns Passing Of Chairman Greenwood
MAFSI Webinar Explores 201 Stainless Ins And Outs



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In This Section:
San Antonio Mayor's Plan Would Ban Chains
Santa Cruz Considers Inspection Plan Update
WEEE/RoHS Webinar Next Week
News On Renewed EU Tariffs, OSHA Changes On Stainless Welding
Smoking Ban Round-Up: Four States Still Struggle

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

Regulatory Report Sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

San Antonio Mayor's Plan Would Ban Chains
No more chains will be allowed to open on San Antonio's famed River Walk if the city's mayor has anything to say about it. Reacting to a citizen's petition, Mayor Phil Hardberger has proposed an ordinance to that effect.

Local jazz great and club owner Jim Cullen sponsored an online petition to limit chains and re-establish a River Walk advisory commission to oversee the area's development. (An earlier commission, first appointed by the mayor in 1962, was disbanded in '92.) Since February, more than 6,500 people have signed.

Chains account for about 30% of the River Walk's restaurants, according to a local business association. The mayor's ordinance would cap the number of chain units at the present level, allowing new stores to open only in locations that have gone out of business.

Details, such as how far up river and how far from the river banks the ordinance would be in effect, are being hammered out. The mayor plans to reveal the proposal on May 2 and present it to the city council at a May 4 meeting.

 

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Santa Cruz Considers Inspection Plan Update
Health officials in Santa Cruz County, Calif., in April submitted a proposal to update the county's health inspection program. The plan includes a number of ways in which county records will be made more accessible to consumers.

The proposal includes suggestions for a Consistent Quality award with certificates restaurants could post in their windows for surpassing inspection standards, Internet posting of restaurant inspections including critical violations, and food safety classes for all foodservice workers not just managers.

The proposal goes before the board of supervisors at its first regular meeting this month. The health department will ask for funding at budget hearings later this month.


Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

WEEE/RoHS Webinar Next Week
If you're impacted any which way by computer, electronic or electrical equipment disposal in Europe, listen up: The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers is reporting in NAFEM Online that the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will be offering a Webinar update on the European Union's WEEE and RoHS Directives on Thurs., May 11.

The presentation, to run 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT, will feature speakers Rosemary Gallant, deputy senior commercial officer, U.S. Mission to the EU; Chris Sherwood, commercial specialist, U.S. Mission to the EU; and Claire Schonbach, senior consultant, WSP Environmental. Topics will include implementation, enforcement, exemptions and impact of the two Directives.

The Waste of Electronic and Electrical Equipment Directive, which became effective August last year, is aimed at reducing the amount of volume of electronic and electrical equipment headed to landfills. The RoHS Directive, now effective in several countries of the EU and due to be EU-wide in July, is aimed at reducing the hazardous substance content, particularly lead and heavy metals, of such waste.

For more information or to register, visit www.buyusa.gov/newengland/euwebinar.html.


Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

News On Renewed EU Tariffs, OSHA Changes On Stainless Welding
The European Union is reinstating 14% retaliatory tariffs, suspended in 2004, on a wide range of U.S. exports including commercial freezers, dishwashers and some cooking equipment. The renewed tariffs go into effect May 16.

In other news affecting equipment and supplies manufacturers, under a standard published in February, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has sharply reduced the permissible level for workplace exposure to hexavalent chrome (generated from stainless steel welding) from 52 to 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air, measured on an eight-hour, time-weighted average.


Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Smoking Ban Round-Up: Four States Still Struggle
Now that a lot of states (17 to date) have passed some sort of indoor air quality law that limits or bans smoking, a few are finding enforcement more difficult than expected. Florida has run up against a couple of cases in which judges sided with businesses over the state. The law, as written, doesn't obligate a business to prevent people from smoking. Technically, a judge ruled, only the smoker can be fined, not the business. The law also is ambiguous about who is responsible for paying a restaurant fine. It says "person," which a judge took literally, saying corporations owning restaurants couldn't be fined. Legislators are looking to close the loopholes this year.

In New Jersey, where a statewide anti-smoking law was due into effect in April, state health officials are still hammering out rules for how the law will be applied and enforced. Rules won't be published for public comment until July and likely won't be adopted until September. In the meantime, health officials are proposing a few additional rules, like requiring a 25-foot outdoor no-smoking zone in front of public places where indoor smoking has been banned.

Officials in Arkansas also are in the process of working out rules to enforce that state's new smoking ban. Department of Health and Human Services inspectors will be responsible for making sure businesses comply with the law, which bans smoking in almost all workplaces. The problem there might be enforcing a clause that prohibits people from smoking in a car with children six or younger.

Tennessee may pass an indoor air quality bill yet. A House version of a bill that failed last year also was quashed in committee earlier this spring. But the Senate version still has some life in it. It recently passed a State and Local Government Committee vote 5-2.



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