Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
May 3, 2005








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Hatco Corp.


NRA Restaurant Performance Index Remains Positive
Gas-Price Bite Pushes Consumer Confidence Lower
First Quarter GDP Growth Comes In Lower Than Expected, But…

Industry Report:
Sponsored by: Customer Choice Dealer Awards

Pre-NRA Friday = FER Awards + Party
NSC Forms Industry Exchange Group
NAFEM Releases New CFSP Study Guide
‘Down Under’ Merger Joins Curtin And OBS
Rankin-Delux Mourns Dick Jones
7-Eleven Coming To A Spot Near You
Fetco Brews In New HQ



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In This Section:
Groups Pitch Fed Standard For Commercial Refrigeration
Sprinkler Reg Reigns On N.H. Bars, Nightclubs
Where There’s Smoke, There’s Ire—Or Not
San Mateo Mulls Posting Of Inspection Results


This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Hatco Corp. |  Industry ReportSponsor: Customer Choice Dealer Awards


Regulatory Report Sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Groups Pitch Fed Standard For Commercial Refrigeration
You may have even more choices in energy efficient refrigerators and freezers in your future, now that commercial refrigeration makers and energy efficiency advocates have reached a consensus on federal standards for equipment used in restaurants, c-stores, grocery stores and other commercial buildings.

The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute represented manufacturers in the negotiation, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy represented efficiency supporters. The two groups hammered out an agreement that recommends to Congress a minimum efficiency standard for most self-contained refrigeration equipment and beverage coolers. Currently, no such federal minimum standards cover these items.

The agreement, also signed by nine makers and numerous energy interests, also calls for legislation requiring that the U.S. Department of Energy establish standards for ice-cream freezers, self-contained cabinets without doors, and remote condensing products.

If adopted, the change would reduce U.S. electricity use roughly 2.3 billion kWh annually by 2020, after the existing stock of commercial refrigerators and freezers has been replaced with the more efficient units.

The agreement will be sent to the D.O.E. and to Congress for potential inclusion in new energy efficiency legislation.

For more details, visit the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute online at www.ari.org.


 

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Sprinkler Reg Reigns On N.H. Bars, Nightclubs
New Hampshire fire officials are in the process of notifying clubs and bars that they will have to install automatic sprinkler systems, if they don’t have them already.

The rule applies to existing venues with a capacity of 100 or more people, including bars, dance halls, nightclubs and places with festival seating. The regulation, part of the 2003 National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code Handbook, was adopted by the state last September, and is being implemented at local levels this year.

The regulation stems from the fatal ’03 fire at a West Warwick, R.I., nightclub where 96 people were killed.

Enforcement deadlines will vary. Cities such as Manchester and Rochester are giving businesses two to three years to comply.

However, many newer businesses may already have sprinklers installed. Manchester, for example, has required sprinklers in any new construction or substantial renovations for the past 10 years.

The state is home to more than 3,200 eating and drinking establishments, according to National Restaurant Association statistics from '03.



Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Ire—Or Not
Never mind lots of "smite the smoke" legislative action taking place around the country these days. Smoking rights advocates are coming out ahead in three of the four states covered here.

In Arkansas, an effort to pass a statewide ban on tobacco smoke in restaurants was defeated in the House on April 4 by a vote of 41 in favor, 48 against. The bill would have prohibited tobacco smoke in restaurants statewide.

Four Colorado lawmakers have sponsored a bill to prevent smoking in public places statewide. Since then, however, all 17 Senate Republicans and at least two of the 18 Democrats have lined up against the bill, so its prospects are dim.

Meanwhile, Nebraska state senators in April voted down LB480, a proposed statewide ban on workplace smoking. For now, at least, Lincoln is the only Nebraska city with strict no-smoking laws.

Come August, however, smokers in North Dakota will have to step outside to light up at most businesses, including restaurants. A 61-32 vote by the state House of Representatives on April 18 put the legislature's official blessing on a workplace smoking ban. Gov. John Hoeven said he plans to sign the bill.



Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

San Mateo Mulls Posting Of Inspection Results
San Mateo County is yet another in a string of California counties asking restaurants to be more forthcoming with customers about their food safety practices. County Environmental Health Division director Dean Peterson is putting a proposal in front of the board of supervisors that would require restaurants to publicly post results of health inspections. As an alternative, restaurants could have them bound in a book and immediately available to customers who ask to see them.

The county has made health inspections available to consumers online at its Web site for some time. State law also requires restaurants to make reports available in a reasonable amount of time to customers who ask for them. The new reg would make it easier for consumers to access the information, according to Peterson.

Napa County is considering a change that would require restaurants to post letter grades of inspections. Peterson says posting reports is better than posting grades because they provide specific and complete information. Since beginning to post reports online, the division has done a lot of education to let consumers know the differences between major and minor violations.

Peterson will put the proposal before the county board at its meeting May 24. If adopted, the new regs will likely take effect around July 1.

San Mateo County is home to some 3,500 foodservice establishments.




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