Foodservice Equipment Reports

Carbon-Monoxide Detectors Get New Scrutiny In New York

Last month’s fatal carbon-monoxide leak in a Long Island restaurant has prompted a push by city and state lawmakers to make carbon-monoxide detectors mandatory in foodservice operations.

A Legal Sea Foods restaurant manager was killed and 27 others were sickened in the carbon-monoxide leak on Feb. 22. Investigators say a faulty flue pipe in the restaurant's heating system was the cause. The heating system had passed its inspection last year and was due to be inspected again in March. According to authorities, the restaurant did not have, and was not required to have, carbon-monoxide detectors. New York’s commercial building codes require smoke detectors, but carbon-monoxide detectors are not always mandated. Newly introduced legislation would require all commercial buildings and county-owned facilities to install carbon-monoxide detectors.

While a number of states have statutes requiring carbon-monoxide detectors in certain residential buildings, only two (Connecticut and Maryland) require them in schools and none require their use in restaurants.

Legal Sea Foods’ Pres./CEO Roger Berkowitz says he plans to have carbon-monoxide detectors installed in all of his 31 restaurants.

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