Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
September 20, 2005








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Hatco Corp.


FER Revises 2005 E&S Forecast, Sees ’06 Growing 2% To 3% Real
NAFEM Says Manufacturer Sales Grew 7.1% In Q2
Blue Chip Economists Trim Forecasts In Wake Of Katrina

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice Group

SFM Moves Conference To Miami
Associations Step Up Post-Katrina Efforts
Enodis Donates Funds, Equipment
Starbucks Sees Green In Renewable Energy
Beltram Signs Rosati As New COO
Bargreen-Ellingson Opens Office In Texas



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In This Section:

South Carolina Inspection Form Rolls Out To Entire State
Florida Lawsuit Against Smoking Ban Fails, For Now
Napa Puts Inspection Reports Online, Mulls Letter Grades
Pennsylvania Governor Boosts A Boost In Minimum Wage

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Hatco Cop. |  Industry ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group
Regulatory Report Sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

South Carolina Inspection Form Rolls Out To Entire State
The new inspection form South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control introduced last January is being rolled out to the last of the state’s eight regions this month.

The DHEC changed inspection procedures to put more focus on risk factors that cause foodborne illness, according to Tammy Gordon, chief survey officer in the department’s food protection division. "We have 17,000 facilities and only 75 inspectors," she said. "We’re trying to work smarter, not harder."

Inspectors now conduct risk-based inspections rather than the old walls-floors-ceiling checklist for violations. The emphasis, Gordon said, is on critical risk factors and partnering with restaurants to find solutions to violations. Instead of issuing a citation and coming back in 10 days, inspectors work with employees to correct critical violations on the spot.

Once the new form and inspection procedure have been used throughout the state, DHEC will ask for feedback on the form’s design. A final version will be in the field by the end of the year. Gordon hopes the new inspection format will prevent foodborne illness outbreaks like last spring’s, in which more than 300 people became ill and one died.

In the meantime, consumers now can access inspection scores on the DHEC Web site, www.scdhec.net/health/envhlth/food_protection/program_profile.htm.

 

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Florida Lawsuit Against Smoking Ban Fails, For Now
Back in July we told you about a Naples, Fla., restaurant owner who sued the state over Florida’s anti-smoking law, passed in 2003. A federal court judge recently ruled against the restaurant, sending the case up in smoke. But it hasn’t disappeared. The case was dismissed without prejudice on a technicality.

Ludwig Abruzzo, the restaurant’s lawyer, argued that because the law allows smoking in bars and outdoor dining areas, it treats restaurants unfairly, favoring businesses with liquor licenses, and therefore violates equal protection provisions in the Constitution. The state argued that citizens don’t have the right to sue their own state in federal court. The judge agreed, but wrote in his verdict that citizens can sue individuals in their official capacities within state government.

Castaways owner Alfred Rusillo has until today to amend the suit, but has to figure out who the right person is to name as a defendant. If the restaurant gets it right, we’ll see what happens in Round Two.


Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Napa Puts Inspection Reports Online, Mulls Letter Grades
The Napa County (Calif.) Environmental Management Department is now making inspection reports available online. The department has been working on the technical feasibility for some time.

Six months ago, the Napa County Register produced an investigative report on area restaurants that weren’t making the reports available or posting notices to let consumers know they can see inspection reports. A recent follow-up showed the problem still exists, with more than half failing to comply with at least one part of the law. Having inspection reports available online should help, according to Jill Pahl, acting director of Environmental Management.

Despite the fact that the department makes up signs for the restaurants to post and has inspectors hand them out, it’s hard to enforce the law, Pahl said. The department had been pushing for a county ordinance that would require restaurants to post the letter grades the department now gives out.

County supervisors are weighing two versions of the ordinance. One would require all restaurants to post grades. The other would require only those with a C to post their grade; restaurants scoring higher could post grades voluntarily. Pahl said a decision isn’t likely until the end of October.


Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Pennsylvania Governor Boosts A Boost In Minimum Wage
Pending legislation in Pennsylvania to increase the state’s minimum wage recently received public support from Gov. Ed Rendell, who said that surrounding states such as Delaware, New Jersey and New York have recently approved similar legislation. A House bill has been in front of the Labor Department since last February, and a Senate version was introduced in May.

The House version of the proposed increase would raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $7.15 an hour by January 2007 and would include cost-of-living increases after that. The Senate bill proposes to increase the wage to $7.00 by June 30, 2007, with no cost-of-living provisions. The state’s minimum wage currently stands at $5.15 an hour.

Gov. Rendell, who has been supporting the House version, says he expects some wage increase to be approved by Christmas.



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