Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
November 17, 2009

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Integrated Control Corp.
MAFSI Reps Report Sales Declined 11.5% In Q3, Slightly Better Than Q2
Sales For Public E&S Companies Slide Nearly 19% In Q3
Macro Forecasts Improve Again, But Not For Income, Spending Or Employment
More Than 80% Of Schools Applied For Stimulus Equipment Grants
Revised FER E&S Market Forecast Webinar Tomorrow

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Hotelex 2010
Unified Brands Buys A La Cart
New York Show Honors Top New Products
First Call For NSF Safety Leadership Awards
FEDA Readies For 2010 Convention

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In This Section:
Illinois Requires New Fire Suppression Jan. 1
Houston's Franchisee Wins Fight Against Calories
More Towns Legislate Their Way Out Of FOG
San Jose Getting Serious About Banning Plastics

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Integrated Control Corp. 
Industry Report Sponsor: Hotelex 2010 
Regulatory Report Manitowoc Foodservice

Illinois Requires New Fire Suppression Jan. 1
In case you've lost track, the new Illinois fire code will become effective Jan. 1, and your fire-suppression system might become outdated.

Illinois adopted the National Fire Protection Association standards a year ago in updating its codes. The new code says fire-suppression systems have to comply with Underwriter Laboratories' UL 300 standards, meaning you have to have a wet-chemical suppression system. Many older systems use a dry chemical suppressant, which isn't as effective on hot grease fires.

You still have some time to make the conversion. Schools and other government institutions with foodservice facilities have until January 2011 to switch over to new systems.

For more information, go to the Illinois Fire Marshal's page at and click on the link to the updates.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Houston's Franchisee Wins Fight Against Calories
When it comes to the battle of the bulge, a Houston's franchisee has kept the weight off—off its menu, that is.

A while back we told you about a couple of Houston's restaurants in New York that were fighting a health-department citation under the new calorie-posting law. The city claimed the two restaurants were part of the Houston's chain, and therefore subject to the ordinance.

Last year, the franchisee, Hillstone Restaurant Group, changed the name of its NYC stores from Houston's to Hillstone and argued that the menus of the two restaurants were different, swapping out some Houston's items for ones of its own. The health department didn't buy it and fined the company anyway.

Now, however, the city has backed off. After a meeting between health-department officials and company executives and chefs, the city decided that close only cuts it in horseshoes. The menus were substantially different enough to let the franchisee off the hook. The health department's general counsel said the department plans to keep a sharp eye on Hillstone's growth—and try again if the chain reaches 15 stores.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

More Towns Legislate Their Way Out Of FOG
A couple more towns on our radar have passed anti-Fats-Oils-Grease ordinances—Rialto, Calif., and Currituck, N.C. In Rialto, a suburb of Los Angeles, the city council considered the new ordinance to prevent sewer overflows into the Santa Ana River. Under the proposal, new or renovated restaurants would have to install minimum 750-gal. grease traps unless officials approve a variance. Existing restaurants get a pass on installing new traps unless they cause blockages in the sewer system. They must, however, install drain screens on all drain pipes in food-prep areas by Dec. 1.

The Currituck County, N.C., board of commissioners recently approved an ordinance that imposes fines of up to $5,000 on restaurants that cause sewer blockages or overflows. Grease traps or interceptors will be required on all new construction, and restaurants with existing grease traps will have to keep records on routine cleaning and maintenance, which the county will inspect on a regular basis.

For more information on the county's FOG program, call Patrick Irwin, public utilities director at 252/232-6061.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

San Jose Getting Serious About Banning Plastics
To borrow from the old song, do you know the way to San Jose, Calif.? It may be through Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and even Palo Alto. Taking a cue from those other Bay-Area communities, the San Jose city council plans to ban polystyrene foam cups and packaging at city events of 1,000 people or more.

A pilot program to reduce waste at city events—such as a Cinqo de Mayo celebration—has been so successful that the city plans to ban polystyrene containers and require foodservice vendors to use #1 polyethylene terephthalate, commonly shortened to PETE, plastic cups for drinks larger than 7 oz., and paper cups for drinks 7 oz. or less.

The new policy should take effect next May. In the past under the pilot program, the city has footed the bill for disposables at its five largest events. When the new ordinance takes effect, vendors will have to buy their own.

If the ban helps reduce waste, the city is likely to consider banning non-recyclable disposables altogether along with plastic bags as other nearby cities have.

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