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Will NYC go trans fat free?

Ashley Milne-Tyte Dec 5, 2006


BOB MOON: Many food-makers have stopped using trans fats on their own. This morning, there’s a chance New York City’s Board of Health will force the issue. In a few hours, it’ll meet to decide whether to ban the artery-clogging oils from all the city’s 26,000 restaurants and takeout joints. Fat chance? Well, Ashley Milne-Tyte reports the city’s world-famous eateries are awaiting the outcome with trepidation.

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: If the Board of Health backs the trans fat ban, restaurants in the five boroughs will scramble to find a healthier oil that doesn’t offend customers’ taste buds.

Charles Hunt of the New York State Restaurant Association says that’s not as easy as it sounds.

CHARLES HUNT:“These products, you just don’t make them overnight.”

Tasty alternatives exist, Hunt says, but not on a large scale. He’s concerned that if New York orders an oil change, other parts of the country will follow suit and soon it’ll be a case of ‘order while supplies last.’

HUNT: “We’re fearful that because of the shortage of product it will probably drive the prices very, very high and particularly for the smaller restaurants it’s going to impose a considerable expense.”

One he says they’ll have to pass on to customers, who may increasingly opt to stay home.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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