Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
May 31, 2005

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Hatco Corp.

Public Equipment Companies Do Well First Quarter, Supplies Flat
GDP Growth In First Quarter Better Than First Estimated
FER 2005 E&S Forecast Revision Coming Soon

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Cold Innovations

McDonald's Wins Award For Fighting Global Warming
San Jamar, VHA Win NSF Food Safety Leadership Awards
Selim Bassoul Named Finalist for American Business Awards
Spata Steps Up As A&E Director At WD Partners
Follett Opens New Facility in Poland
'Road To Anaheim' Plans Accelerate

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In This Section:
Urgent: Public Comment By June 16
Washington's New Food Code Kicks In
Oklahoma Mulls Food Code Changes
San Mateo Inspectors Get Tablet Notebooks
Texarkana Health Center Starts Grading Restaurants

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Hatco Corp. |  Industry ReportSponsor: Cold Innovations

Regulatory Report Sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Urgent: Public Comment By June 16
Want to be required to rig up your kitchen exhaust so it automatically goes on every time any piece of gas or electric cooking equipment is activated?

You have until June 16 to register your comments on a proposed revision to the International Mechanical Code that would require just that.

The rewrite of IMC 507.2.11 states that "type I hood systems shall be designed and installed to automatically activate the exhaust fan whenever cooking operations occur. The activation of the exhaust fan shall occur through an interlock with the cooking appliances, by means of heat sensors or by means of other approved methods."

Near-frenzied foodservice exhaust experts are calling for operators and equipment manufacturers to log their response to the idea. The suggested change would create significant cost without any benefit to public health and safety, they say. In fact, they note, supporters of the change never provided the customary statement of need and reasonableness, and never cited specific foodservice hazards that would be addressed.

Instead, the new IMC requirement was said to be aimed at achieving consistency with the International Fuel Gas Code—a code that's not directed at foodservice operations at all, but primarily addresses combustion byproducts of untended gas mechanical systems used in heating water or air for a wide variety of facilities.

The interlock notion's a bad fit for foodservice, many say, for several reasons: Cooking activities are generally closely tended anyway, making the interlock irrelevant. Second, the reg as written would apply not only to gas cooking equipment but also to electric appliances—which don't emit combustion gases anyway. Among other problems with the idea: no way to address interlock sensors that malfunction and shut down cook lines, and unwieldy retrofit procedures.

Objectors also point out that the economic assumption to the revision—the statement listed cost impact as "none"—is clearly false, and they believe a more accurate appraisal would have cast the entire proposal in a different light.

To comment by the June 16 deadline, go to the International Code Council's Web site at and download a public comment form. Refer to M60-04/05, revision to
IMC 507.2.11.

For further information, go to these ICC pages:

And check out Up Your Stack articles:

Or go to or email Tom Johnson, Johnson Diversified Products, at


Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Washington's New Food Code Kicks In
Washington state's new food code took effect May 2. Though finalized last September, many operators have been caught by surprise, according to the Washington Restaurant Association. The new code has a few major revisions and several minor changes in language that you should be aware of.

Some of the big changes:

  • The temperature danger zone has been changed to 41° F-140° F from 45° F-140° F. That means coolers that can't maintain food temps of 41° F have to be replaced by May 2010.
  • Cooked fruits and vegetables are now considered potentially hazardous foods.
  • Every operation must have a designated "person in charge" on hand at all times with a demonstrated knowledge of food safety (i.e., a food handler's card from a local authority or a ServSafe certificate).
  • Bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods is banned, and handwashing requirements have been spelled out.
  • Consumer advisories regarding undercooked foods or unpasteurized juices now also must include a warning of the health risk involved.

Other rule changes address cross-contamination, cooling and cold holding, cooking and reheating temperatures and times, time as a safety control, and fish and shell stock storage and record-keeping procedures.

For all the changes, visit

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Oklahoma Mulls Food Code Changes
A foodservice advisory council made up of industry leaders, scientists and sanitarians from Oklahoma's Department of Health is investigating whether changes to the state's food code are needed or not. The committee is in the process of reviewing the 2001 FDA Model Food Code and comparing it to Oklahoma's existing rules.

If the committee finds existing code doesn't meet the public's best interests, it will recommend changes to the Department of Health.

The review should be completed in June, but Oklahoma Restaurant Association President Jim Hopper doesn't expect it will result in major changes.

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

San Mateo Inspectors Get Tablet Notebooks
Inspectors for the San Mateo County, Calif., Environmental Health Division will get tablet notebooks later this spring to use in the field. Director Dean Peterson said the department is experimenting with two different computers now to determine which one will be purchased for his 12 inspectors.

The tablet PCs will enable inspectors to call up a restaurant's entire inspection history, so they can help troubleshoot problem areas. Inspectors also will be able to fill in inspection forms on the tablet's screen in longhand. The PC will convert handwriting to print-ready typeface, and reports can be printed out on the spot on small, portable printers. Inspectors will be able to file their reports at the end of the day by uploading them to department computers via modem.

Peterson said the entire division, not just restaurant inspectors, will get the tablet PCs before long.

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

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Texarkana Health Center Starts Grading Restaurants
Blow your inspection in Texarkana, Texas, and people are going to know it. The city is now posting letter grade results of restaurant health inspections on its Web site. The Texarkana/Bowie County Family Health Center made the decision to post results of routine health inspections after years of receiving queries from the public on how restaurants in the area rate.

"We've had a wonderful reception to the new system," said Kathy Moore, director of the health center. "Our Web site usually receives about 40 or 50 hits a week, but we received more than 300 in just a few days after we announced the change."

The health center inspects about 300 operations in the county twice each year. Results are converted to letter grades, and any critical violations are noted with an asterisk after the grade. New inspections are posted on the Web site every Thursday. About 210 of the county's foodservice operations are presently posted on the site, with more being added as they're inspected. Consumers can get full copies of any report by written request.

To see how restaurants stack up, go to and click on Environmental Health. Click on Food Establishments for the list.

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