City restaurants will ring in the new year with trans fat-free menus as the Calgary Health Region has banned the unhealthy cooking oil from eateries effective Jan. 1, 2008.


The CHR will be sending out a trans fat ban proposal and pamphlet beginning next week that outlines the new guidelines for restaurants.


Dr. Brent Friesen, the CHR’s medical officer, said the purpose of the proposal is to give the food industry time to prepare for the changes, as well as provide feedback on the target dates and proposal guidelines.


“We’re looking to work with restaurants and receive feedback on their opinions. We’re providing valuable information and proposals on how to reduce the amount of trans fats,” Friesen told reporters.

Friesen said the Jan. 1 target date for the first phase of the ban is feasible, although the proposed date for phase two may be a bit challenging.

The second phase, proposed to take affect Jan. 1, 2009, will require stores and bakeries to produce trans fat-free products.