Universal Jumps on Trans-Fats Bandwagon

Trans fats continue to stay in the spotlight: The latest organization to ban the fats is Universal Studios, which operates theme parks in Orlando, Fla., and Hollywood, Calif. The company said the majority of its facilities will be trans-fats-free by the first of the year, with trans fats completely removed from menus by the end of 2007.

Universal is also adding fruit and side salads to menus; park maps will indicate which food service facilities offer healthful options. Universal said it's working on making nutrition information available to guests.

"Providing our guests healthier options and trans-fat-free cooking is the right thing to do," said Steven Jayson, Universal Parks & Resorts executive chef, in a statement. "We want our guests to feel good about the food they eat when they visit our theme parks."

The company said it has spent the last several months testing recipes and new ingredients and getting guest feedback on new foods. "We did not want to sacrifice taste or quality," Jayson said.



Universal's announcement suggests that pressure to ban trans fats shows no sign of slowing down. The major quick-service hamburger chains have either removed trans fats--which are found in fried foods and baked goods--from menus, or vowed to do so soon. Earlier this week, legislators in both Massachusetts and California introduced bills that would ban trans fats from menus, and New York City has passed legislation requiring all restaurants to remove trans fats from foods.

Full-service chains such as Olive Garden also have vowed to remove the fats, which health professionals say seriously raise the risk of heart disease, from their menus.

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