McDonald’s make shift to trans-fat free

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 23rd May 2008

McDonald’s Corporation has switched to trans-fat free oil in all of their US and Canada restaurant outlets, CEO Jim Skinner said this week at the annual shareholders meeting. The change has only been to some of their products so far, with all products expected to be trans-fat free before the end of the year. McDonald’s has also committed to reducing trans fat levels in most of their outlets worldwide with plans to decrease trans-fat per serving to 0.5 grams in the Asia-Pacific and other regions around the globe.

Health authorities and consumer groups have been lobbying the company about the issue of trans-fat oil over the past few years, with McDonald’s slower than many other US fast food outlets to change oils. McDonald’s had initially flagged a change in 2002 but concerns about the impact to the taste of their food forced them to delay the change.

Wendy’s committed to trans-fat free oil in their US stores in 2006 with KFC following suit last year. Burger King, the world’s second biggest burger chain, has indicated plans for a switch sometime this year despite their concerns about a potential lack of supply of trans-fat free oil.

Trans-fat oils have been under fire by health groups in recent years due to their ability to increase low-density lipoprotein (known as ‘bad cholesterol’), which are believed to clog up arteries. Fast-food outlets around the world are now beginning to bow to pressure to rid their food of trans-fats.