Mailing Date: June 29, 2009

Telephone:
717-783-9454
FAX:
717-787-8820


Patti Palmer
Palmer’s Flagship
VIA E-MAIL: pattip491@verizon.net

              

               RE:  Loudspeaker and Cleaning of Beer Coils

 
Dear Ms. Palmer:
 
ISSUE:  This office is in receipt of your e-mail correspondence of May 14, 2009, wherein you indicate that, based on a recent article in your local newspaper you have a question regarding the use of a loudspeaker in your establishment.  Further, you inquire about the regulations concerning the cleaning of your beer coils.
 
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“Board”) records indicate that Palmer’s Flagship Inc. t/a Palmer’s Flagship holds Restaurant Liquor License No. R-19222 (LID 20063) for the premises located at 7573 Route 30, Irwin, Pennsylvania.
 
OPINION:  Initially, please be advised that it is the Pennsylvania State Police, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (“Bureau”), and not the Board, that enforces the liquor laws in Pennsylvania.
 
Regarding your first question, section 5.32(a) of the Board’s Regulations states:
 
A licensee may not use or permit to be used inside or outside of the licensed premises a loudspeaker or similar device whereby the sound of music or other entertainment, or the advertisement thereof, can be heard on the outside of the licensed premises.
 
[40 Pa. Code § 5.32(a)].
 
There is no permit available which grants an exception to this regulation; nor are there hours or days in which these provisions do not apply.  However, there is a procedure for a municipality to request exemption from the regulation for an identified area including one (1) or more licensees.  [47 P.S. § 4-493.1(b)].  In such instances, the municipality’s local noise ordinance is applicable, and enforcement thereof is the responsibility of the municipality.
If your establishment is located in such an area, it is exempt from the above-cited regulation; otherwise, the restaurant is subject to the regulation and if the entertainment includes the use of loudspeakers, it may be cited by the Bureau for any violation thereof.
 
If the noise/sound in question does not come from a loudspeaker or similar device, whereby the amplified sound of music or other entertainment, or the advertisement thereof, can be heard on the outside of the licensed premises, the sound would not violate section 5.32(a) of the Board’s Regulations.  However, be advised that the sound may violate local noise ordinances if any are in place or, in more extreme cases, violate the Crimes Code provisions dealing with disorderly conduct.  [See 18 Pa.C.S.A § 5503]. You should contact your local authorities for further guidance on local noise ordinances and law enforcement officials for further guidance on Crimes Code violations.  Furthermore, there is no open door exception which would allow the opening of the front door to allow fresh air into the establishment.
 
Regarding your second inquiry concerning the cleaning of beer coils, section 5.51(a) of the Board’s Regulations [40 Pa. Code § 5.51(a)] requires that coils, tap rods and connections used in drawing malt or brewed beverages in licensed establishments be thoroughly cleaned, at the licensee’s sole expense, every seven (7) days.  Section 5.51(b) of the Board’s Regulations [40 Pa. Code § 5.51(b)] specifies that live steam, hot water and soda solution, and any other method that thoroughly cleans the systems and leaves them sanitary, are approved by the Board to satisfy section 5.51(a).  Further, section 5.52 of the Board’s Regulations [40 Pa. Code § 5.52] requires that licensees keep cleaning records. 
 
In addition, section 5.52(b) specifically permits a licensee itself to clean coils, tap rods and connections by a method enumerated in section 5.51, and requires that the licensee maintain a record of the date of each cleaning and the method utilized. [40 Pa. Code § 5.52(b)]. 
 
Lastly, with regard to having your beer lines professionally cleaned, enclosed please find a copy of the Board’s Advisory Opinion, OPN 2009-110, Requirements for Beer Line Cleaning, dated April6, 2009, which discussed in detail The BLM 2000.  Please be advised that in January of 2003, the Board reviewed information and technical specifications provided by BLM North America, LLC for its BLM 2000 system.  The BLM 2000 system is the only system currently approved by the Board.  The BLM 2000 is a device that generates an audio signal that is induced into the beer line via a transponder.  The BLM 2000 operates twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.  The audio signal varies in frequency and amplitude, to create an unfriendly environment for yeast and bacteria cells to grow and multiply within the beer lines.  The result is a retardation of contaminate yeast and bacteria on the inside walls of the beer lines, thereby allowing the beer to flow from keg to tap without deterioration in quality or presentation.  By retarding the normal growth patterns of contaminate yeast and bacteria, the need to regularly chemically clean beer lines on a weekly or biweekly basis is negated and chemical cleaning is only needed every eight (8) to twelve (12) weeks.
 
Based upon the Board’s review of the specific technical information provided by BLM, the Board needs to amend the relevant regulations to allow such a device.  However, please note that, to date, no new regulation has been promulgated regarding this issue.  A proposed draft of the regulation is in a formative stage and will be submitted to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.  In the interim, licensees who utilize the BLM 2000 system and, as a result, provided a chemical cleaning of their lines only once every eight (8) weeks rather than once every seven (7) days are not to be cited for the use of the system in that manner.  Of course, licensees who fail to maintain the appropriate records or licensees whose lines are found to be unsanitary would be subject to citation in the same manner as any other licensee. 
 
Finally, as you are seeking information concerning a wide range of issues relating to events involving beer, wine and spirits in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you can examine the Pennsylvania Liquor Code, Board Regulations, Advisory Notices  and Advisory Opinions by going to the Board’s Website at www.lcb.state.pa.us, which more specifically sets forth all the requirements.
 
Should you have any further questions or concerns regarding the Liquor Code or the Board’s Regulations, please do not hesitate to again contact this office.
 
Very truly yours,
 
 
 
FAITH S. DIEHL
CHIEF COUNSEL
 
cc:   Pennsylvania State Police,
               Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement
   Jerry W. Waters, Sr., Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs
   Jane Melchior, Director, Bureau of Licensing
 
LCB Advisory Opinion No. 09-236

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