Trans fat ban in restaurants starts

   A trans fat ban in restaurants is among laws that took effect on Jan. 1. County health inspectors say they will enforce the new rule at local restaurants

The new law is part of California’s plan to phase out the use of trans fats in restaurants and other food facilities.

   “The County Department of Environmental Health regularly inspects these facilities, and we will work with food providers in the county to educate them about the new requirements to make them aware of the new rules,” said Gary Erbeck, Department of Environmental Health director.

   Beginning New Year’s Day, restaurants were prohibited from using oils, margarines or shortenings that contain trans fats, except when deep frying yeast dough or cake batter for items such as doughnuts. Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the ban will be extended to include all foods.

   In addition to restaurants, the new law applies to private schools, grocery stores, bakeries and other retail food outlets. It does not apply to public school cafeterias, because they are already prohibited from serving any food containing trans fat by the California Department of Education.

   Eating foods with trans fats has been found to increase the risk of heart disease by decreasing good (HDL) cholesterol and increasing bad (LDL) cholesterol.

For more food safety and environmental health information, visit www.sdcounty.ca.gov/deh.

   
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