Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
October 26, 2004








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
MAECO


Battered By Soaring Costs, Manufacturers Eye Price Increases
AutoQuotes Data Shows "Blended" List Prices Increased 4.72% May ’03 To Oct. ‘04
Economists Begin To Worry About High Oil Prices


Industry Report:
Sponsored by: Atlas Metal Industries Inc.

Robertshaw Recalls TS-11 Thermal Safety Control Valve
Don’t Be A ‘Girlie-Buyer’ In California
Training Trims Food Safety Violations
RFID Boot Camps Kick Off
Gill Group Contract Division Opens Four New Offices




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In This Section:
Michigan Web Site Spells Out Hood Recommendations
Fire Inspection Fees Loom For Duluth Restaurants
Water Meters On Tap For Sacramento Area
New Mexico Water Costs More Coming And Going
New Jersey May Adopt Left Coast Energy Standards


This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: MAECO |  Industry ReportSponsor: Atlas Metal Industries Inc.


Regulatory ReportSponsored by Hatco

Michigan Web Site Spells Out Hood Recommendations
Hoods cost a LOT, and guesswork about hoods can cost a lot for no good reason.

To reduce the guesswork, at least as far as state health department standards are concerned, the Michigan Department of Agriculture has set up an online guide on the state’s Web site.

Sporting the catchy title of "Cooking Equipment Ventilation Recommendations For Michigan Food Establishments," the guide includes a quick-reference list of hood-free equipment and a list of ovens and fryers with recirculating ventilation hoods that have MDA approval.

In addition, the site includes a much more detailed Searchable Ventilation Database, which provides more comprehensive information on hood requirements for a variety of equipment items.

"Checking here first can prevent some costly assumptions on the part of the operator," noted Kevin Besey, supervisor of the food service sanitation section at MDA.

A reminder, though. State health and fire requirements are separate, and of course local requirements can be more stringent than state standards. So you still have to check them all separately. But at least the state health/DOA standards are now easy to reference.

To see the Michigan state recommendations, point your browser at http://www.michigan.gov/mda/0,1607,7-125-1568-60753--,00.html.



Section sponsored by Hatco Corp.

Fire Inspection Fees Loom For Duluth Restaurants
Bad news, good news for foodservice folks in Duluth, Minn.

The bad news is that starting next year, you’ll be responsible for footing the bill for your shop’s next city fire inspection, due to an ordinance passed at the Duluth City Council meeting in September.

The new rule, which impacts restaurants, movie theaters, warehouses and factories, will cost you an estimated $400 every three years, according to the current code. The actual fee schedule will be determined at a City Council meeting in November, Fire Marshal Erik Simonson said.

The good news for Duluth restaurateurs, however, is that the next set of fire inspections will likely not take place until some time in ’07, since the fire department just finished checking restaurants in this year, and the inspections take place on a three-year cycle.

Full information about new program will be posted on the Duluth Fire Department in January.



Section sponsored by Hatco Corp.

Water Meters On Tap For Sacramento Area
Water meters will soon—or maybe not so soon—be making a bigger splash in the Sacramento area.

A new law (AB 2572) requires that everyone—residents and businesses, if they aren’t metered already—make the switch to volume-based pricing by 2025. That switch will require the move to meters.

The bill, promoted by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe of San Diego and water conservation groups, ends a longstanding ban on residential meters in Sacramento and signals a broader change in a region that long has leaned toward flat-rate water billing. The new bill applies to Sacramento as well as to nearby Elk Grove, Galt, Lodi, Marysville, Modesto, Oroville, South Lake Tahoe and Woodland.

For restaurants, it’s mainly the older stores that may need to take action. In particular, units that have been open since the early 1990s or earlier and are still paying a flat rate for water will be expected to have meters installed. In most cases, the water user will pay for the installation cost.

According to ’02 state statistics, nearly 1,100 restaurants and foodservice establishments call the city of Sacramento home.



Section sponsored by Hatco Corp.

New Mexico Water Costs More Coming And Going
It’s no surprise that water is a precious commodity in the arid Southwest. In New Mexico, though, you’ll pay more for it in surprising ways.

Santa Fe recently raised its water rates. The Albuquerque City Council followed suit, approving a rate hike there that increases the cost of water about 4.5 % per unit (100 cubic feet). The rate increase also raised sewer rates by about 14.5 %.

If that weren’t bad enough, the Albuquerque City Council also introduced an ordinance that would impose drainage impact fees on new construction. The monies are needed, the city says, to pay for flood control. A new restaurant might incur as much as $30,000 or more in such fees, depending on its size, if the ordinance is passed, according to the New Mexico Restaurant Association.

The matter came up for discussion at a council meeting on Oct. 18.



Section sponsored by Hatco Corp.

New Jersey May Adopt Left Coast Energy Standards
A bill (A516) that would require equipment sold in New Jersey to meet or exceed new energy efficiency standards has passed the state assembly and is now in the senate awaiting a vote.

The list of equipment addressed by the bill is eclectic. Equipment most likely to affect you includes commercial refrigerators and freezers, air conditioning packages, and exit signs. If your interior design calls for ceiling fans, count those in, too. (Traffic signals are on the list, but not many of you have call for them.)

If the bill passes in the N.J. senate, commercial refrigeration sold in the state will have to meet the same energy efficiency standards that California uses. AC equipment will have to meet Tier II efficiency levels for commercial air conditioners established by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency in Boston. Ceiling fans and exit signs will have to sport the EPA’s Energy Star mark.

No word on when a vote is expected.




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