EU's CEN Publishes Equipment Safety Standards
The Council of European Normalization on Sept. 6 published new EU unified standards for commercial food equipment. The new document, a CEN Workshop Agreement, was developed in a consensus process including input from several EU states, representatives from European foodservice interests and NSF Int'l.
One upshot: In a sort of one-stop certification shopping, NSF Int'l. now is able to begin certifying foodservice equipment and supplies products to the new CEN standards as well as its own. Products passing both organizations' requirements will qualify for a joint NSF-CEN label or each label separately.
The need for the CEN Workshop Agreement arose when the EU passed legislation that requires operators to have a food safety system in place, such as a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plan. A key component of such a plan would involve equipment cleanability, which made NSF Int'l. a logical choice to join the consensus group.
For more information, you can email NSF at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Competing Smoking Bans Battle On Arizona Ballot
Call it the "battle of the bans." Arizona voters will soon have to make a choice, not between a ban on smoking or no ban at all, but between two proposed clean-air initiatives.
The issue began with Proposition 201, the Smoke-Free Arizona Act, a statewide initiative to prohibit smoking in all public places, including restaurants and bars.
Critics, backed by funds from R.J. Reynolds and the Arizona Licensed Beverage Association, put together their own initiative, Proposition 206, the Arizona Non-Smoker Protection Act. Prop. 206 also would ban smoking from public places, but would allow it in bars and restaurants as long as the smoking area is physically separate and separately ventilated.
Prop. 201 supporters, though, say that rather than clear the air, Prop. 206 puts up a smokescreen, preempting communities that have tougher anti-smoking ordinances, making it impossible for local communities to decide their own fate. Prop. 206 supporters counter with the argument that theirs is the only proposal that levels the playing field in the state.
While voters will ultimately decide, one thing's sure. When this battle's over, there won't be much smoking left in Arizona.
Taiwan Bans Plastic Disposables In Schools; Restaurants Next
A ban on plastic disposables in Taiwan has officially been extended to schools, according to Taiwan News. Taiwan banned the use of plastic bags in 2003. At the same time, Taiwan's Environmental Protection Agency implemented the first phase of a ban on plastic disposablesplates, cutlery, etc.by prohibiting government agencies from purchasing them or using them in restaurants that serve those agencies.
The ban was recently expanded to include private and public schools, and the Taiwan EPA says restaurants, supermarkets, c-stores and department stores are next on the list. The goal is to reduce the estimated 2,300 tons of plastic waste that ends up in incinerators each year.