Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
November 4, 2008

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Foodservice Group

FER Revises 2008, '09 Forecasts
NRA Performance Index Hits Record Low
Consumers Could Cut Foodservice Spending, Report Says
NPD Says Traffic Actually Rose Over Summer
Why Do NRA And NPD Traffic Numbers Differ?
GDP Declines In Third Quarter, While Consumer Confidence Tanks In The U.S. And Europe

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
The NAFEM Show '09

Feeling Innovative? NRA Accepting KI Award Entries
Cool Dudes Ben & Jerry Test New Way To Chill
AWE Opens Faucet On Water-Resource Library
FER Magazine Expands Smallwares Awards Coverage On Web

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In This Section:
More Towns Say Grease Traps The Way Out Of FOG
Arches On Archer Okay, But Not Big Boy
Calorie-Posting Spreading To Nation's Midsection
Burbank Bandies Bag Ban If Education Fails
Pasadena Takes Smoking Ban Outdoors

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group 
Industry Report Sponsor: The NAFEM Show '09
Regulatory Report Enodis

More Towns Say Grease Traps The Way Out Of FOG
Okay, you can add Rowan County, N.C., and Senatobia, Miss., to your list of those places instituting new fats, oils and grease (FOG) ordinances.

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities, serving Salisbury, N.C., and surrounding Rowan County, has proposed changes to its FOG policy. The new draft eliminates reference to the quantity of grease in wastewater that triggers the need for a grease trap or interceptor, meaning all operations now must have one or the other. The draft ordinance wants operators to install interceptors (and get plans approved first before they'll get permits) unless interceptors aren't feasible due to physical property constraints. In those cases, grease traps are okay.

Interceptors have to be pumped out every 90 days, or when 25% full. Fines for violations range from $500 to $25,000 depending on severity.

Senatobia's new ordinance, signed into law last spring, now requires all new and renovated foodservice operations to install grease interceptors. Existing operations have to fill out a questionnaire to determine whether a new grease trap or an interceptor will be needed, and whether an existing one will need to be upgraded. Interceptors now must be emptied every 60 days or when the interceptor is 25% full, whichever comes first, and operators have to keep records of grease-trap maintenance. Fines for violations are up to $250 for each offense.


Section sponsored by Enodis

Arches On Archer Okay, But Not Big Boy
You may remember a story a couple of weeks ago in FER Fortnightly about a brouhaha in Alachua County, Fla., over the Golden Arches. A McDonald's Corp. franchisee wants to rebuild a store there to feature the company's trademarked 1950s-style arches. The arches, however, constitute a sign under existing county code, and would have violated the code's height and size restrictions.

McDonald's argued that the arches are an integral part of its trademarked design, not a sign. So county commissioners went back to the drawing board and updated the county code to accommodate trademarked architectural features in buildings. The changes were approved at a recent meeting with one dissenting vote. Trademarked architectural features are no longer considered signs—unless they depict a human, animal or character, a product or product packaging. Hmm, guess that just leaves arches.

Section sponsored by Enodis

Calorie-Posting Spreading To Nation's Midsection
Until now, most of the action requiring chains to post calories on menus and menu boards has been on the two coasts. But no more. Now the idea's gaining momentum in the country's breadbasket, too.

In Nashville, Tenn., the Metropolitan Board of Health has proposed a calorie-posting ordinance that would apply to chains with 10 or more units nationwide. Unlike some of the new measures in California and elsewhere that ask you to post nutrition information like fat and sodium content, Nashville's new law would require only posting of calorie content on menu boards.

"Menu labeling is not a magic bullet," said department head Bill Paul, M.D., "but it will allow families to make an informed decision when choosing what they eat." Nearly 60% of adults and 30% of children in Nashville are overweight or obese, he said.

The health department has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal on Nov. 6 at the Lentz Health Center, 311 23rd Ave. North in Nashville. The ordinance would take effect Jan. 31 if approved.

Meanwhile, the board of legislators in Westchester County, N.Y., has scheduled a vote on the proposed calorie-posting measure there (reported in the Oct. 7 FER Fortnightly) for Nov. 10.

Section sponsored by Enodis

Burbank Bandies Bag Ban If Education Fails
Rather than ban polystyrene takeout containers and plastic bags outright, Burbank, Calif., has decided to try education first.

The city council there recently accepted staff recommendations to produce and distribute a brochure on how to reduce disposable packaging and use environmentally friendly materials, then follow up with operators by phone and face-to-face visits. The city will offer two workshops between now and May of next year, and plans both an online information resource site and a recognition program for operators who eliminate plastic bags and polystyrene packaging.

With the help of the local Chamber of Commerce and area businesses, city staffers created the Green Business Information Exchange to help promote the program. The city plans three or four GBIE events per year to raise awareness.

In the meantime, the city council also pledged to support any statewide legislation that might be enacted. A bill in the state assembly failed to make it out of committee in the 2007-08 legislative session, but it may be reintroduced next year. Meanwhile, neighboring Los Angeles already said it will eliminate plastic bags by '10.

Burbank adopted a Zero Waste Policy in June to eliminate trash going to landfills and incinerators by 2040.

Section sponsored by Enodis

Pasadena Takes Smoking Ban Outdoors
Folks in Pasadena, Calif., can't take their smoke breaks outdoors anymore, at least not anywhere convenient. The city, which has had a smoking ban in place for four years, just passed a new ordinance in October that nixes smoking in outdoor public venues, including restaurants patios. Smokers won't be able to light up within 20 ft. of the entrance to a building, either, starting in November.

City police are being trained by the health department on the specifics of the new law. Violations will be considered "infractions," the lowest run on the list of violations, though there's a possibility the city council may raise the stakes to a misdemeanor. That doesn't mean the police will respond to complaints about smoking, though, according to police chief David Melekian. Resources are stretched too thin to make enforcement of the ban a priority, he said.

The city plans to post signs to inform people about the new law, with a Health Department number people can call to register complaints about smokers.

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