Foodservice Equipment Reports

Legislation Around The Fifty States:

Arizona: Installing ventilation for a pizza oven under the limitations imposed by historic building protections delayed a restaurant opening for four months in Phoenix. The new downtown Hilton Garden Inn opened last December, but regulations guiding changes, permits and preservation slowed down kitchen and patio construction. The oven’s ventilation had to be routed through nearly the entire building before exiting into a nearby alley, requiring close adherence to historic preservation guidelines. The same rules prevented the hotel from attaching awnings to shade customers on the patio; umbrellas were set up instead. The restaurant is still working on adding patio heating and cooling devices.

Idaho: Food trucks are wildly popular across Coeur d'Alene, and now the city is making its first attempt at regulatory oversight. Similar to the guidelines governing food trucks in many municipalities, the draft rules limit the amount of time trucks can stay in one spot, while others set requirements for seating; wastewater dumping and grease disposal; and fire department inspections. After two years drafting and re-drafting rules, Coeur d’Alene officials are now trying to roll them into an agreeable set of regulations that don't put the brakes on the city’s thriving food truck culture.

Nebraska: An Omaha bricks-and-mortar operator is suing the city over its lack of attention to food truck regulations. Michael Henery says the city is failing to collect the city restaurant tax from food trucks, not enforcing peddling licenses, and looking the other way when it comes to parking regulations. The suit seeks an injunction barring the collection of any restaurant tax altogether because it is unconstitutional and “arbitrarily” exempts food trucks. The suit also seeks a refund of the taxes Henery’s Mexican restaurant has paid as well as monetary damages. The founder of Omaha’s 20-member Food Truck Association averred that group members would gladly collect and remit whatever taxes would come their way and said the parking rules date from the 1960s and were designed to regulate ice cream vendors and peddlers who would stop wherever customers gathered.

New York: This is the week that salt gets its due on menus in New York City. On May 26, a state judge turned aside an appellate court stay and let stand a ruling that makes salt warnings mandatory on menus. The rule, believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, requires city restaurants with 15 or more locations nationwide to post a salt shaker encased in a black triangle as a warning next to menu items with more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the daily limit recommended by the federal government. Violators will be subject to $200 fines. The city began enforcement June 6.

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