Miami / FL. (bkc / wib) Burger King Corporation announced that the company has begun the rollout of a trans fat free cooking oil to its restaurants in the United States. Two trans fat free oil blends have passed the company´s rigorous operational, supply and consumer criteria, allowing the company to begin the national rollout. The company expects that every U.S. restaurant will be using trans fat free cooking oil by the end of 2008. If adequate supply becomes available, the U.S. rollout of trans fat free oils could be completed substantially sooner.
Trans fats are listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. They can raise bad cholesterol and lower healthy cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease. Critics have said Burger King was taking too long to move toward the healthier oils. The Washington based Center for Science in the Public Interest sued Burger King in May, saying the company was moving too slowly and had failed to set a definite timetable for removal of trans fats.
Among Burger King´s main competitors, McDonald´s Corp. said earlier this year it had selected a new trans fat free oil. Wendy´s International Inc. started using cooking oil with zero grams of trans fat in August 2006. Starbucks Corp. announced in May that it will cut artificial trans fats out of food and drinks in its stores in the continental United States, Alaska and Canada by the end of the year. Yum Brands Inc. said in April that all of its KFC restaurants are now serving fried chicken with zero grams of trans fats. Yum Brands also said its Taco Bell restaurants switched to a trans fat free frying oil.
The Burger King system operates more than 11.200 restaurants in all 50 states and in more than 65 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of the restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees.