On Friday, California became the first state to ban the use of trans fats in restaurants . Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a legislation that will ban restaurants and other retail food establishments from using oil, margarine, and shortening that contains trans fats.
This legislation would start to take effect on January 1, 2010. Restaurants that violate the ban could face fines between $25 and $1,000 and the only exception would be food that is sold in manufactures' sealed packaging. Both California and Oregon already have laws that ban trans fat from being served in schools.
Trans fats are naturally in meat and dairy products in small amounts. Most trans fats are made when vegetable oil is treated with hydrogen to make baked and fried foods have a longer shelf life. Trans fats are considered bad because they are supposedly linked to coronary heart disease.