Every restaurant in New York City that uses trans fats in its food will have to find an alternative: the city's Board of Health voted unanimously Tuesday to ban trans fats in all of the city's eateries, making New York the first city to do so.
Restaurants have until July to stop using artificial trans fats in frying oils, and until the following July to eliminate trans fats from all foods. The ban does include exceptions, including one allowing restaurants to serve foods containing trans fats if those foods remain in the manufacturer's packaging.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires companies to list trans fat content on food product labels, and some companies have moved away from trans fat on their own accord. This August, Wendy's began using a zero-trans fat oil, and KFC and Taco Bell have also committed to eliminate trans fats.
Trans fats are formed through a process called hydrogenation that turns liquid oils into solids. The average American eats 4.7 pounds of trans fats annually, the FDA estimates.