Starbucks Starts Trans Fats Withdrawal

Seattle-based Starbucks has become the latest restaurant company to hop on the trans-fats-free trolley. The chain announced that today it begins serving trans-fats-free baked goods in 10 cities: Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Portland, Ore.

The initial 10-city rollout applies to stand-alone stores but not satellite locations like grocery or airport kiosks. Those locations are licensed by Starbucks, but run by other businesses.

The rollout has been in the works for about two years, according to a Starbucks spokesman. He also said that New York City's ban on trans fats did not spark Starbucks' decision. The New York City ban calls for restaurant cooking oil to be trans-fats-free by July 1, and for the fat to be absent from baked goods by July of 2008.

Health professionals consider trans fats, which are found in partially hydrogenated oils, to be dangerous to heart health.

Starbucks, which operates about 13,000 stores worldwide, posted net revenue (for its food service operations and coffee business) of $7.8 billion for fiscal 2006, which ended Nov. 16. The chain opened 2,199 new restaurants worldwide last year.



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