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California Trans Fat Ban Takes Effect Jan. 1, 2010

California Restaurants Free of Trans Fats Beginning Friday

With a new year come healthy new resolutions — and one key state is hoping to give its residents a jumpstart. This Friday, Jan. 1, a new California state law takes effect; it mandates that all restaurants in the state must be free of trans fats. Despite their connection to coronary heart disease, trans fats, or solidified fats that contain added hydrogen, have been favored in many establishments that claim they add flavor and have a longer shelf life than other oils. While select cities like New York have passed ordinances against trans fats, California will become the first state in history to do so. The bill, which was passed in July 2008, bans restaurant oils, margarines, and shortenings containing more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. This will be enforced by local health departments, who could fine establishments up to $1,000. The one exception? Bakeries, which have until Jan. 1, 2011 to comply.

While I'm generally happy to hear about the health improvement, I can't help but wonder how different restaurant food will taste. Do you foresee other states soon following suit?

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