Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
July 11, 2006

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
FER E&S Economic Forecast Meetings
You Don't Want To Miss The FER 2007 E&S Market Forecast President's Preview July 27
Prices To Remain High For Core E&S Materials
Will Rising Construction Material Costs Cast Shadow On New Unit Plans?
Traffic, Sales Bounce Back In Latest Survey, NRA Says

Industry Report:
Star Aquires Lang
Worldwide Energy Use To Grow Two-Thirds By 2030
Sbarro Takes Italian Food South Of The Border
NAFEM Announces Town Hall Meetings

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In This Section:
ICC Holding Town Hall Meeting On Joint Codes
San Francisco Bay Area Foaming About Foam
Mercury Reduction Laws Slip Into Effect
South Carolina Says Okay To Rare Burgers
Smokers On The Run, Hither And Yon

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

Regulatory Report Sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

ICC Holding Town Hall Meeting On Joint Codes
Mark July 15 on your calendar. That's when the International Code Council is holding a town hall meeting to get feedback on the proposed joint plumbing and mechanical code by ICC and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials.

The meeting will take place at the Adams Mark Hotel in Denver. The tentative schedule calls for a reception Friday evening, July 14, with the town hall meeting scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. the following day.

For those who aren't already registered for the meeting, it will be Webcast on the same day. To tune in to the Webcast, go to and follow the link.


Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

San Francisco Bay Area Foaming About Foam
Oakland, Calif., is on a tear about litter and environmental pollution. Just months after passing an ordinance that taxes fast food restaurants and c-stores to cover the cost of cleaning up food-related litter, the city council issued a final vote June 27 to ban the use of polystyrene foam takeout packaging and disposables such as plates, cups, bowls, cutlery, etc.

The new law, effective Jan. 1, instead calls for the use of biodegradable or compostable alternatives.

You may be eligible for an exemption, however, if you can't find an "affordable" alternative, which the city defines as one that is equal or less in cost than non-biodegradable packaging. If you want to use biodegradable disposables but can't find "affordable" ones, you can charge customers a "take-out fee" to cover the difference, the city says.

If you don't comply, you get a warning. After that, fines start at $100 and go up to $500 for successive violations.

Roughly a hundred jurisdictions have banned polystyrene foam over the past two decades.

How long until neighboring San Francisco follows suit? Any day now, apparently. At press time, its city government was poised to vote on similar legislation. Stay tuned.

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Mercury Reduction Laws Slip Into Effect
Mercury is nasty stuff, and in an effort to reduce it in landfills, states are passing laws cutting the amount of it that's permissible in a wide variety of products.

What, you might wonder, does that have to do with you?

Plenty, heavy-metals breath. Products with more than 1,000 mg. of mercury include flame sensors, electricity meters, thermometers, thermostats, barometers, manometers and mercury vapor lamps—and all became illegal in Connecticut in 2004 and in Rhode Island on Jan. 1 this year.

To stay on top of changes, check out the Interstate Mercury Education & Reduction Clearinghouse at

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

South Carolina Says Okay To Rare Burgers
You like medium-rare burgers? Would you like to give them to customers who like them? Burger-loving legislators in South Carolina thought so. They recently passed a bill that would allow restaurants to serve burgers cooked to less than 155°F.

There is a catch—two, in fact. First, customers can only request undercooked burgers if they're 18 or older. And participating restaurants must post a disclaimer telling customers that they can't be held liable if customers get sick.

The bill still has to go to the governor's desk for a signature.

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Smokers On The Run, Hither And Yon
Restaurant operators used to fear that smoking bans would hurt business. Now, it's looking more like smoking bans will just save you the money you used to spend cleaning up after smokers.

Bits from around planet Earth: The Howard County, Md., council voted in June to make that county smoke-free. That makes it the fourth county in the state to enact a smoking ban. Located midway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., the county now prohibits smoking in all public places, including outdoors within 15 feet of doors and windows. Some outdoor entertainment and sporting events are exempt.

Halfway around the world, the smoking ban that was supposed to be effective May 8 on Guam has been challenged by the local attorney general. The law says that bars, hotel rooms, tobacco stores and some other locations can be exempted if they have a filtration system that's approved by the health department and meets ASHRAE specs. Trouble is, no such specs exist. The AG says the actual ban should still be enforced but requests some clarification of the intent of the wording in the law.

Meanwhile, back in Urbana, Ill., University of Illinois students have been waiting to exhale ever since the city council voted to adopt a smoking ban. The town next door, Champaign, had already confirmed an ordinance, but it was predicated on Urbana also passing some version of its own. The two laws are similar, both allowing smoking on outdoor patios, but Urbana's ordinance requires that 50% of outdoor seating areas be smoke-free.

Elsewhere, competition for the title of Smack-That-Smoker-Silly Champion is fierce. Billed as the "world's toughest" clean air law, the Smoke-Free Ontario Act took effect the end of last month. The Canadian law prohibits smoking in all public places, including restaurants, bars, casinos, clubs and sports venues, many of which are exempt in other areas with clean air laws. The act also prohibits smoking in outdoor areas covered by a roof or awning.

But that "world's toughest" title isn't going uncontested. Ontario may not have noticed Calabasas, Calif., when it decided to brag about tough smoking laws. The little town north of Malibu has had a smoking ban in effect since March that not only prohibits smoking indoors, but outdoors as well, except in specially designated areas. The idea was to reduce litter in addition to protecting people's health.

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