New York State Assembly Member Félix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) has introduced legislation (A6031 and A6053) that would prohibit restaurants, mobile food service establishments and retail food stores from serving items that contain artificial trans fat. The proposed ban would apply to any food item with more than 0.5 grams of artificial trans fat per serving or that uses “vegetable shortening, margarine or any kind of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” as an ingredient. The bills would exempt food items served in the manufacturer’s original packaging and prevent counties, cities and other local governments from passing more stringent trans fat regulations after the state’s version takes effect in 2014.
Meanwhile, Texas Sen. José Rodríguez (D-El Paso) recently filed a similar measure (S.B. 1359) seeking to restrict the use of artificial trans fat in foods prepared, packaged, stored, or served by food service establishments. Like the New York proposal, the Texas legislation would exempt food items with less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, but would also permit establishments to “use trans fat to prepare bakery items, including items made with yeast dough or cake batter.” Initially applicable only to chain restaurants with 15 or more outlets in the state, the new rules would apply to all establishments as of August 31, 2015, if adopted by the state legislature.