Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
December 1, 2009








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Internorga 2010
FER Adjusts 2009 Forecast Up, 2010 Down
E&S List-Price Increases Moderating, AutoQuotes Says
McDonald's Same-Store Sales Gains End In October
QSR Grows Units In U.K.; Ireland Forecast Bleak

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
McDonald's Pledges $2.4 Billion To CapEx
Chipotle Takes Solar Plunge
ABC Honors Suppliers
NACUFS Hosts Foodservice Directors Meeting
CPK Takes Its Menu To India



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In This Section:
New FDA Model Food Code On The Books
Tennessee Judge's Ruling May Start Legislative Gunfight
Expansion Of FDA Powers A Step Closer To Reality
FDA Decides Oyster Is Not Its World

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Internorga 2010 
Industry Report Sponsor: Server Products 
Regulatory Report Manitowoc Foodservice

New FDA Model Food Code On The Books
Just when you thought you had the old one memorized, a new one comes out. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just published the 2009 edition of its Model Food Code, the seventh full edition issued by the agency. Many states' food safety laws automatically defer to the FDA code, and most others likely will adopt the new edition in time.

Significant revisions include a change in language that designates provisions in the code a "Priority Item," a "Priority Foundation Item" or a "Core Item," to help operators distinguish between what were called "Critical" and "Non-Critical" items in previous editions. Other changes are the inclusion of leafy greens among foods that are subject to time and temperature control, employee training in food allergens, a new definition and criteria for raw animal products, the elimination of undercooked hamburgers as an option on kids' menus, and clarification on cleaning and sanitizing equipment.

The most recent complete edition was issued in '05, with revisions published in '07. You can find out more about the '09 FDA code at www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009. To order a copy, call 703/605-6040 and refer to report number PB2009112613.

 

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Tennessee Judge's Ruling May Start Legislative Gunfight
Sometimes done deals aren't entirely done. A county judge has slapped down a new law that allowed Tennesseans to carry guns into bars and restaurants. Her decision has prompted an outcry from the law's supporters and a vow from the original bill's sponsor to take the gunfight back to the legislature when it's back in session in January.

Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman, a Davidson County judge, said in her ruling that the new law is "fraught with ambiguity." In July, gun owners in Tennessee were given the right to carry firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol unless the restaurants specifically prohibit the practice. Critics who filed suit say the law doesn't distinguish between bars and restaurants, making it difficult for them to know what to do to obey the law.

Doug Jackson, the state senator who sponsored the law, said he hopes the attorney general's office finds grounds for an appeal. But if not, Jackson said, he's ready to put the matter back before the state General Assembly to fix the language.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Expansion Of FDA Powers A Step Closer To Reality
A U.S. Senate committee approved legislation that would expand the scope of the Food and Drug Administration's authority and oversight of food safety. The Senate bill is similar to one the House passed in July. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the legislation unanimously, which would give the FDA more power to order recalls, increase the number of yearly inspections of restaurants and processors, and require all food facilities to have a food-safety plan in place.

The committee vote puts the first significant overhaul of the food-safety system in 50 years a step closer to completion, but committee chair Tom Harkin said a final bill won't be passed until sometime early next year.

Both versions of the legislation shift FDA's role in food safety to a more proactive stance focused on prevention, putting the onus for preventing foodborne illnesses on restaurants and processors.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

FDA Decides Oyster Is Not Its World
After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a few weeks ago that it was going to file proposed rule making on how Gulf Coast oysters are handled and processed, the agency has decided to back off due to pressure from harvesters, processors, retailers and the restaurant industry.

The FDA said raw Gulf oysters harvested from April through September should be processed to prevent possible infection by the Vibrio vulnificus bacterium. The bacterium is harmless when ingested by most people, but can cause severe illness and even death in those with compromised immune systems or alcohol-related liver disease.

Processing methods such as mild heat, radiation and quick freezing kill Vibrio, but raw-oyster aficionados say the techniques negatively affect taste and texture. About 15% of the annual oyster harvest from the Gulf of Mexico is processed post-harvest, but the industry says that processing equipment is too expensive for most suppliers. And many in the foodservice industry are saying there's no need to impose rules to protect such a small population, especially when those most likely to be affected probably already know they shouldn't eat raw oysters.

The FDA said it plans to continue to study the issue including alternative methods of processing that might not alter taste and ways to make processing facilities more affordable and available to the industry.



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