Prepared Foods & Mixes without Trans Fat

Updated:Apr 9,2014

Fats - Fried Foods with Dip (restaurant resources header)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 hamburFats - Commercially Baked Pie (restaurant resources spot)ger 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:

Fats - Eggs (restaurant resources spot)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:Fats - Soiid Fat and Oil (restaurant resources spot)

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.