TORONTO — Today’s announcement by the Hon. Tony Clement, Minister of Health, provides the national leadership required to effectively eliminate trans fat in the Canadian food supply, says the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).
CRFA represents more than 33,000 foodservice operators, ranging from national chains to small, independent restaurants, bars and caterers. Foodservice operators have been working closely with their suppliers to find healthy alternatives to trans fat, and many have already made the switch to trans-free menu items. The limited supply of healthier alternatives to trans fat, such as high-stability canola oil, continues to be a challenge.
“Today’s announcement sends much-needed market signals to seed growers and oil producers to ramp up production, because there will be an ongoing demand for trans fat alternatives,” says Ron Reaman, CRFA Vice President, Federal. “Replacing trans fat in the Canadian food supply with genuinely healthier alternatives is a significant undertaking that can only be accomplished through the kind of national strategy recommended by the Trans Fat Task Force and now endorsed by the Minister of Health.”
CRFA participated in the federal Trans Fat Task Force and endorses the trans fat limits set out in the report (2% of the total fat content for vegetable oils and soft, spreadable margarines and 5% of the total fat content for all other foods, including ingredients sold to restaurants.). In addition, CRFA has published a technical guide for its members on how to work with suppliers to replace trans fat with healthier alternatives. The guide is available free of charge on the association website at www.crfa.ca.
The Minister of Health’s action plan ensures that adequate resources will be available for further education and enforcement.
“This national approach will bring to bear the expertise and resources of Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to educate the food chain, raise public awareness of this issue, and monitor compliance with the limits set out in the Trans Fat Task Force report. We look forward to working with the federal government and industry partners to achieve the goals set out by the Trans Fat Task Force,” says Reaman.