NEW YORK CITY – December 5, 2006 – Restaurants are a major source of artificial trans fat, but customers currently have no practical way to know whether food they eat contains it. Today, the New York City Board of Health voted unanimously to make New York City even healthier by requiring that all City restaurants remove artificial trans fat over the next 18 months. New York City is the first location in the nation to ensure removal of artificial trans fat from restaurants. Artificial trans fat increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and death by increasing bad cholesterol and decreasing good cholesterol. The final notice of adoption is online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/public/notice-adoption-hc-art81-08.pdf.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said, "The day we introduced this proposal, we emphasized that we would review public comments carefully. The message we heard was clear: New Yorkers overwhelmingly favor action to get artificial trans fat out of their restaurants. We also heard from restaurant operators who voiced real difficulties making the transition, and we’ve changed implementation plans to help restaurants implement the new regulations."
Background Information about Revisions to Trans Fat Proposal
This proposal allows restaurants six months to switch to oils, margarines and shortening used for frying and spreading that have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. After 18 months, all other food items – including all margarines and shortenings – must contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. In response to comments received, the Department will:
- Allow more time (18 months instead of 6) to replace artificial trans fat used in baking and in deep-frying yeast doughs and cake batters
- Provide technical support for restaurants and bakeries
- Helpline staffed by recognized culinary science experts
- Training for restaurant personnel
- Resource materials, including brochures, practical tips and information about alternatives
- Provide 3 month grace period (July 1, 2007 – Oct. 1, 2007) with no fines for items in the 6 month phase-out category
- Provide 3 month grace period (July 1, 2008 – Oct. 1, 2008) with no fines for items in the 18 month phase-out category
- Create separate category of violations which will be posted and the web but will not determine pass/fail of routine sanitary inspections
A summary of all comments, including lists of those in support or opposition, is available online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/cardio/cardio-transfat-comments-response.pdf. A total of 2,340 written comments were received (including 53 people who spoke at the October 30 public hearing). Overall, 2,266 (95%) comments supported the proposal and 74 were in opposition. Unqualified support for the proposed changes came from numerous leading national and local professional societies, academic institutions, and local hospitals and advocacy groups, including the American Medical Association (AMA), National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), American College of Cardiology (ACC), American Cancer Society (ACS), American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), New York Academy of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, Harvard University, New York University, Institute for Urban Family Health, and Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership.