Eva Knott 10:09 a.m., May 22
On January 1, a new state law banned retail food facilities from using oils, margarines and shortenings containing trans fat, except when deep frying yeast dough or cake batter for items such as doughnuts. Next year, the ban will be extended to include all foods.
Health Inspectors will enforce the law in more than 12,000 restaurants, private schools, grocery stores and bakeries. "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 Department of Environmental Health Director, Gary Erbeck.
The new law doesn't apply to public school cafeterias, because they are already prohibited from serving any food containing trans fat by the California Department of Education.
Trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol that causes coronary heart disease leading to heart attacks and stroke. Twelve and a half million Americans suffer from CHD; and, each year more than 500,000 die. Thirty thousand to one hundred thousand premature, preventable deaths are estimated to occur due to the consumption of artificial trans fat.
In addition to oils and margarines, trans fat is found in crackers, candies, snack foods, fried foods and baked goods.