Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
October 18, 2005








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Hatco Corp.

Some Commodities Spike; Outlook For 2006 Mixed
NRA's Performance Index Takes A Hit
Economists Mostly Shrug Off Hurricanes' Effect

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
MUFES '06,
Feb. 11-13, 2006

Energy Star Looking To Recognize Small Businesses Saving Energy
17,000 Ops Kick In For 'Dine For America' Katrina Aid
Hobart, Vent Master Take Home FCSI Awards
Cleveland Range Past Pres. Lovejoy Passes
Gill Marketing Moves To New Quarters
FCSI Honors Design, Management Consulting Winners



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In This Section:

Comments Sought For Proposed NFPA 96 Change
FDA 2005 Model Food Code Revises Standards
Three Cities Feel Their Way Through FOG Issue
ICC Mandates Hood Interlocks Despite Foodservice Protests
Managers Now Need Safety Certification In KY Counties

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Hatco Corp. |  Industry ReportSponsor: MUFES '06, Feb. 11-13, 2006
Regulatory Report Sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Comments Sought For Proposed NFPA 96 Change
Now's your chance to sound off about when you should be required to use an exhaust system for cooking. To clarify when an exhaust hood requires a fire suppression system, the National Fire Protection Association, has proposed a Tentative Interim Amendment, or TIA.

TIA 04-01 attempts to clarify NFPA 96 requirements. It acknowledges that when particulate effluent produced by certain cooking methods and equipment is below an EPA threshold, a fire suppression hood isn't required. But it ties this threshold to cooking equipment that has been listed in accordance with UL 197 or equivalent, a standard for recirculating hoods that are designed to reduce particulate to safe levels.

Tom Johnson, president of Johnson Diversified Products, and a frequent industry liaison on a variety of technical and regulatory issues, suggests the TIA ought to be revised so that cooking processes, not just equipment, can meet the standard. That way you can't be forced to put a fire suppression hood over a piece of equipment that isn't producing grease or smoke when used for cooking specific menu items.

You have until December 7 to throw in your two cents on the issue. You can take a look at the TIA by going to the NFPA web site at www.nfpa.org and following links to the October issue of NFPA News.

 

Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

FDA 2005 Model Food Code Revises Standards
Just when you were getting used to 2003 changes in the FDA Model Food Code, here comes the '05 version. The good news is that most of the changes are minor clarifications to language in the '01 code.

More major changes include a definition of food allergens consistent with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of '04. The code now requires a manager on staff to be knowledgeable about major food allergens such as peanuts, soy, seafood, milk. The new code also has a revised definition of potentially hazardous foods, refocused date-marking provisions on foods most at risk of contamination, updated personal hygiene and employee health provisions and new rules for reduced oxygen packaging.

While state and local health departments may not adopt FDA Model Food Code changes right away, it pays to keep managers abreast of the latest changes. You can find them at www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fc05-toc.html.


Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Three Cities Feel Their Way Through FOG Issue
With disposal of fats, oils and grease becoming an environmental hot button, more municipalities are developing FOG ordinances. Approaches to the problem recently have varied from stick to carrot in El Paso, Texas; Tulsa, Okla.; and Millbrae, Calif.

El Paso, one of the last major metro areas without a FOG ordinance, was prompted by a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality model ordinance to pass Rule 15 last April. The rule, which took effect this month, clamps down by requiring transporters and disposal sites to be licensed. No longer will El Paso restaurateurs pay as little as $15 to have a grease trap cleaned by unregulated haulers who in some cases simply dumped the grease in the desert, according to David Brosman, chief operations officer at El Paso Water Utilities. Now licensed haulers will have to go to Odessa, 275 miles east, to find a licensed disposal facility. Fines for not complying, by the way, range from $500 to $1,000.

Tulsa is using an incentive to convince operators there to comply with the city's FOG regulations. Comply you will, as Yoda might say. But voluntarily follow some best management practices, like training employees, keeping thorough records and changing cleaning and maintenance procedures, and you could qualify as a partner in the city's PACE program. As a member of Partners for A Clean Environment BMP program, says Laureen Gilroy, city spokesperson, you can post a PACE sticker in your window signifying to customers that you're environmentally friendly.

Millbrae, meanwhile, is taking a slightly different approach to FOG. The city just started construction on a treatment plant that will convert restaurant grease to methane. The methane will power a 250 kW microturbine generator that will provide electricity for the city's water treatment facility. The city plans to charge disposal fees to grease haulers, giving it an additional revenue stream to help pay for the new system.


Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

ICC Mandates Hood Interlocks Despite Foodservice Protests
You may soon have to install in interlock on your exhaust hood that turns the fan on any time kitchen staff is cooking. On the recommendation of a building inspector, the International Code Council approved a change to the International Mechanical Code that requires automatic activation of exhaust fans on Type I hoods whenever cooking operations occur.

Public comments opposing the change came from the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, the National Restaurant Association and several other industry entities, including individual manufacturers, operators and consultants. Despite arguments against the interlock requirement, the committee reviewing the change approved it as submitted, commenting that it brings IMC in line with the International Fuel Gas Code.

The change says that exhaust fans have to be activated "through an interlock with the cooking appliances, by means of heat sensors, or by means of other approved methods." That will likely drive the price of new hoods up. If adopted by local municipalities, the change raises big issues about who's liable for retrofits.


Section sponsored by APW Wyott Innovations

Managers Now Need Safety Certification In KY Counties
Restaurants in several Kentucky counties will soon need at least one manager on duty to carry a food safety certification card. The Barren River District Health Department passed an ordinance in July that it's now beginning to implement. Restaurants in eight counties in the department's jurisdiction have until Jan.1, 2007, to comply.

Kentucky doesn't have a state requirement for food safety training, according to BRDHD environmental director Barry Turner, but the department says it's an excellent way to help prevent foodborne illness.

To help restaurants meet the requirement, the BRDHD will be offering a series of five-hour food safety classes, concentrating on areas around Bowling Green and Glasgow. The department also will recognize certification programs offered by other Kentucky health departments and the National Restaurant Association's ServSafe program.

The fee for the department's course is $50, or $10 if a manager is already certified by another program.

To find out more about the new ordinance or food safety training classes, go to the department's web site at www.barrenriverhealth.org.



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