Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
November 9, 2004








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
ES3


Special Focus: FER Forecasts E&S Sales Growth, Big Price Increases
For Operators, Things Still Improving But More Slowly
Consumer Sentiment Down, GDP Growth Below Expectations


Industry Report:
Sponsored by: Atlas Metal Industries Inc.

RFID Chips With That McMeal?
Cereality Aims To Bowl Over Breakfast Market
Curtis Restaurant Equipment Expands
Eat’n Park Espresso Machines Get High Octane Roll-Out
Jolly News On Merrychef USA Launch




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In This Section:
Restaurant Depreciation Bill Moves Forward
HACCP To Headline In All School Kitchens Next Fall
Short And Sweet For California Credit Receipts
Rhode Island Clarifies, Modifies New Sprinkler Requirements


This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: ES3 |  Industry ReportSponsor: Atlas Metal Industries Inc.


Regulatory ReportSponsored by Hatco

Restaurant Depreciation Bill Moves Forward
Good news on the restaurant depreciation front. The House of Representatives voted to approve the "American Jobs Creation Act," which, among other things, would accelerate depreciation on improvements to restaurant properties from the current 39 1/2 years to 15 years.

The proposed bill received 280 yes-votes, 141 no-votes, and 12 abstentions. The National Restaurant Association supports the bill.



Section sponsored by Hatco Corp.

HACCP To Headline In All School Kitchens Next Fall
Got HACCP? That’s the question—and requirement—that Congress has put to the nation’s school foodservice departments, along with a provision doubling the number of annual health inspections.

Starting July 1 next year, all school districts will have to implement a food safety program—better known as "hazard analysis and critical control point system"—in order to comply with Public Law 108-265.

A second provision in the bill enacted June 30 requires that school foodservice operations be inspected by local health authorities twice annually, up from the current once a year.

Implementing the increased inspection requirement as of right now presents challenges. The law requires that schools submit to the increased inspections but makes no provisions for health inspection agencies that may lack the resources to double the annual number of school kitchen visits.

The School Nutrition Association strongly supports the food safety aspects of the bill, especially the HACCP requirement.



Section sponsored by Hatco Corp.

Short And Sweet For California Credit Receipts
Where California machine-printed credit card receipts are concerned, state deadlines trump federal—period.

The law stating California cash registers and electronic draft-capturing equipment may not print more than the last five digits of the credit card number, or the expiration date, was effective Jan. 1 this year. What has caused some confusion among California operators is a federal law passed last year that’s nearly identical but does not become effective until Jan. 1, ’07.

The state Attorney General’s position is that no preemption exists, and that state law takes precedence over federal. The California Restaurant Association is advising members to make sure all credit card machines comply with state law.

Note that both the California and federal laws—designed to foil credit-card fraud and identity theft—apply only to receipts that are printed electronically, and not to transactions where the credit card is recorded by handwriting or manual imprinters.



Section sponsored by Hatco Corp.

Rhode Island Clarifies, Modifies New Sprinkler Requirements
Rhode Island’s tough new stance on sprinkler regulations—the result of a deadly nightclub fire in 2003—has restaurant owners scrambling to figure out what parts of the code apply where, and by when. Which is why the state’s General Assembly recently passed legislation that clarifies the rules and offers an extended deadline.

The amended law, Bill 2004/H8420 Substitute B, took effect June 30 and eliminates the old code to avoid conflicting enforcement standards. Many of the older regulations failed to consider new fire suppression technology, whereas the new code gives more leeway to have fire alarms, sprinklers and other forms of active fire systems.

The legislation also gives the Fire Safety Board of Appeal the discretion to extend sprinkler installation deadlines up to July 1, 2008.

Other adjustments include allowing a state fire marshal designee, rather than local fire chief, to determine whether a fire fighter is necessary; and also for the state fire marshal to develop comprehensive citation categories.

The legislation can be found at the Rhode Island General Assembly online site, www.rilin.state.ri.us.




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