|In professional kitchens, industrially produced trans fat is found not just in oils, margarines and shortenings, but in many prepared foods, partially pre-cooked foods and mixes. Did you know, for instance, that frozen French fries you cook in healthy 0 grams trans fat frying oil may still contain trans fat?|
To serve your customers healthier menu items, purchase prepared foods, partially pre-cooked foods, and mixes that contain 0 grams trans fat and are low in saturated fat.
Sources of industrially produced trans fat
Here are some common sources of industrially produced trans fat:
- Baked goods (cookies, crackers, cakes, pies, muffins, fried taco shells, tortilla wraps and some breads, such as hamburger buns)
- Toppings for baked goods and ice cream (sprinkles, chocolate chips, non-dairy whipped toppings, syrups, icings and candy coatings)
- Pre-mixed products (cake, pancake and chocolate drink mix; pizza dough; laminated doughs)
- Pre-fried or partially fried frozen foods (French fries, onion rings, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, frozen pie crust, frozen dough, and egg rolls)
- Nacho cheese sauce, salad dressing, non-dairy creamer
- Bread crumbs and croutons
- Snack foods (potato, corn and tortilla chips; packaged or microwave popcorn)
To determine whether a product contains industrially produced trans fat, read the label on the package.
What to do about unlabeled products:
Fresh, unprocessed products such as fresh vegetables, raw meat, fish, poultry and eggs do not require a label. You should obtain some form of documentation for everything else. Check your kitchen storerooms for unlabeled products. If you find an item without a label, ask your supplier to provide a label or appropriate documentation.
If you’re buying unlabeled baked goods or other freshly made foods directly from the producer, also obtain documentation. The documentation may be a letter from the producer instead of a label. The letter should contain this information:
- The producer’s name, address and phone number
- Item name
- Serving size
- Item ingredients, listed from heaviest to lightest
If the words “margarine,” “shortening” or “partially hydrogenated [vegetable] oil” appear in the ingredients, the documentation should include the trans fat content per serving.
Requesting products with 0 grams of trans fat:
Manufacturers of prepared foods and mixes have been working hard to eliminate industrially produced trans fat. Many familiar brands are already made with 0 grams of trans fat. If your suppliers are not stocking 0 grams trans fat versions of the products you need, talk to them about making the switch as soon as possible.