New York City restaurants to be trans-fat free by July

by Eric Schroeder
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NEW YORK — With only two weeks remaining until a city-wide regulation takes effect requiring restaurants to remove artificial trans fat from all menu items, only a few New York City restaurants still have work to do.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), more than 98% of inspected restaurants were in compliance with the trans fat regulation as of last month.

When it was first implemented last year the regulation applied only to fry oils and spreads, but as part of the second phase of the rule, previously excluded items such as baked foods, frozen foods, cannoli and donuts have been added. Foods served in the manufacturer’s original, sealed packaging, such as candy and crackers, are still exempt.

"Some food chains and cooking oil manufacturers have not only eliminated trans fat but also reduced saturated fat by 20% to 35% in certain fried foods, further boosting the health benefit for consumers," the DOHMH said.

The Trans Fat Help Center, launched last year by the DOHMH with support from the American Heart Association, earlier this month mailed brochures on baking without artificial trans fat to all 25,000 New York City food service establishments and to New York State food suppliers serving the city. Most large bakery suppliers are expected to include the brochures with the orders they ship during July, the DOHMH said.

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