California entering second phase of trans fat ban

by Eric Schroeder
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LOS ANGELES — The second phase of California’s ban on artificial trans fats is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2011, meaning restaurants must stop using oil with trans fat for cake batter, donuts and other items. The first phase took effect Jan. 1, 2010.

California became the first state to ban artificial trans fat in restaurants when it enacted the law in July 2008, and the first phase of the law took effect Jan. 1, 2010, and included a ban on trans fats in oil, shortening and margarine used in spreads or for frying.

Under the second phase of the ban, beginning Jan. 1, 2011, no food containing 0.5 grams or more of artificial trans fat per serving may be stored, distributed, served by or used in the preparation of any food within a food facility. The prohibition also applies to the deep frying of yeast dough or cake batter, two items which previously were exempt from the ban.

Restaurants in violation of the ban are subject to a fine of not less than $25 or more than $1,000.

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