Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
July 25, 2006

Economic Report:
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FER E&S Market Forecast:
Focus on Channels
When In Life Do You Get Another Chance? Read On...
Technomic Lowers Operator Forecast For 2006
Meanwhile, McDonald's Chugs Along, And Even Some Airlines Do Well

Industry Report:
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Server Products

Bennigan's Up To 30 Units In South Korea
Lenny's Subs Continues Aggressive Expansion
Church's Isn't Chicken About Opening New Units

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In This Section:
Chicago Bans Foie Gras, Eyes Trans Fats
San Francisco Sitting On Foam Law For 30 Days
California Says Plumbing Must Get Lead Out
Maricopa Calls Critical Health Code Violations Criminal
Three States Pass 'Merlot-To-Go' Laws

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: FER E&S Market Forecast: Focus on Channels | 
Industry Report
Sponsor: Server Products

Regulatory Report Sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Chicago Bans Foie Gras, Eyes Trans Fats
It's not as if Chicago doesn't have "other fish to fry," as the saying goes, but lately the Windy City has taken a special—some would say peculiar—interest in foodservice.

Effective last January, a ban on smoking in public places included restaurants without bars. In April, the city council banned restaurants from selling foie gras, a delicacy made of a goose- or duck liver fattened by force feeding to the verge of exploding.

Then in late June, Chicago Alderman Edward Burke proposed the city ban restaurants from using trans fat oils. If the ban passes, Chicago would be the first city in the country to take such action against the oils, which are blamed for a variety of cholesterol and heart disease problems.

Then in mid-July, Burke amended his proposal to allow limited use of trans fat oils and to exempt restaurants owned by companies with annual revenues of less than $20 million. The proposed ordinance as it now stands would become effective two years after its approval date.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley publicly criticized both the foie gras ban and the trans fat proposal, saying the city council has more pressing matters to tend to.

The exemption for companies with revenues less than $20 million per year was presented as a way to let independents off the hook. Burke said his main concern was kids eating too often at "fast food" restaurants, by which he seemed to mean chains. But the dollar limit, as stated, also raises questions about franchisees vs. their franchisors.

And in any case, the legal principle of "equal protection" calls into question the legality of giving unequal treatment to competitors.

The city's first public hearing on the proposal was scheduled for last week.


Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

San Francisco Sitting On Foam Law For 30 Days
As reported in the last FER Fortnightly, on the heels of Oakland's new polystyrene foam packaging ban, San Francisco did introduce a similar ordinance at a recent board of supervisors meeting. The ordinance was sent to the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee under a 30-day rule, which means the committee can't consider passing it for 30 days.

Once it clears committee, the proposed ordinance likely will come back for a full board vote before going to the mayor for a signature. If passed, the ordinance would require you to use compostable or biodegradable packaging and disposables instead of Styrofoam or tableware manufactured with CFCs, as long as the eco-friendly alternatives are not more costly.

Besides nearby Oakland and Berkeley, about 100 cities nationwide have polystyrene packaging bans in place. In San Francisco, a ban would eliminate about 7 million pounds of polystyrene foodservice packaging a year, according to the city's environmental department.

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

California Says Plumbing Must Get Lead Out
The California legislature is changing its definition of "lead-free" in connection with pipes and plumbing fittings used to convey potable water for human consumption. The law may affect the manufacture of some foodservice equipment as well as plumbing supplies, as the revisions add language about water used for cooking as well as drinking. Bob Wilbur, reporting on behalf of the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, says he doesn't think the restriction will be a problem for equipment makers.

Existing law says that "lead-free" pipes may contain no more than 8% lead, and plumbing fixtures only 4% lead by dry weight. On Jan.1, 2010, that changes to a new measure that says the weighted average lead content of the wetted surface area of the pipes, fittings, and fixtures can't be more than 0.25%. The law provides the formula to determine whether pipes, fittings and fixtures comply.

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Maricopa Calls Critical Health Code Violations Criminal
Better clean up your act if you operate around Phoenix. The Maricopa County Attorney is getting serious about health code violations. Last month the county attorney's office filed criminal complaints against two restaurants and a supermarket after they failed health department inspections.

The two restaurants were each cited for multiple health code violations, and customers of one experienced an outbreak of Shigellosis. The supermarket was cited for 17 violations, including one for having dead fish in a live fish tank.

"People who go out to eat at a restaurant have every right to expect their meals to be prepared in a sanitary manner," said County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Critical health code violations are a misdemeanor, but are punishable by jail. Thomas is seeking jail time for the offenders, which under the law can be up to 30 days along with a fine of up to $2,000 for a business and $500 for a person.

(Editor's note: Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio doesn't mess around. Jail time in his jurisdiction can include a cot in the county's infamous "tent city," where temperatures in summer routinely exceed

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Three States Pass 'Merlot-To-Go' Laws
Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island are the latest states to pass so-called "doggy bag" wine laws. They join about 30 states nationwide that now allow your customers to take home partially consumed bottles of wine. In most cases, the laws require the bottles to be sealed in some sort of tamper-evident packaging and either placed in the trunk of a car or behind the passenger seats for transport home.

The Kansas law took effect on July 1. Ohio's was just signed into law and will take effect on Sept. 20. The Rhode Island General Assembly passed the merlot-to-go law there at the very end of its 2006 legislative session in June. No word on when it takes effect.

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