A law banning California restaurants from using trans fat in their dishes takes effect on January 1, 2010.
According to an article in The Fresno Bee, California Assembly Bill 97 bans cooking with any oils, margarines, or shortenings that contain more than half a gram of trans fat per serving. Existing, routine restaurant inspections by county-level public health departments will now account for the new trans fat guidelines.
The bill, sponsored by California Assemblyman Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), went into law in 2008, but included a one year grace period on enforcement in order to make the transition easier for restaurant owners. Once it goes into full effect in the new year, the bill will make California the only place in America with a statewide ban on trans fats (also known as partially hydrogenated oils), but cities across the country have already enacted similar measures locally.
The language of the bill serves to remind shoppers about certain product claims about trans fat content. According to FDA guidelines, a product may describe itself as “Trans Fat Free” or having “0 Grams Trans Fat” as long at it contains 0.5 grams of trans fat or less per serving.