Five Canadian restaurant chains adopt new national trans fats limits
months before required
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - Cara Operations Limited (Cara) announced
today that its five Canadian restaurant chains - Swiss Chalet, Milestones,
Montana's, Kelsey's and Harvey's - will use vegetable oils and spreads that
have two per cent or fewer trans fats in the new year. More than 700 of Cara's
restaurants across Canada will transition to use non-hydrogenated margarines
and oils in the first few months of 2008 - well ahead of the timelines set out
by the federal government for adopting and implementing the recommendations of
the national Trans Fat Task Force.
"Cara is poised to be the first national, full-service branded restaurant
company to meet the Trans Fat Task Force's recommended limits," said Charles
Hayes, Vice President Food and Beverage Design, Cara Operations Limited. "Cara
remains committed to ensuring healthy choices for Canadians, in fact, Harvey's
was the first quick-service restaurant in Canada to use a trans fat free
cooking oil, implemented concurrently by the other Cara chains. Today's
announcement is the next step in further reducing trans fats from our
ingredients and menu items. Now, more than ever, Guests have healthier options
when dining in our restaurants."
Cara implemented changes to the cooking and preparation procedures at its
restaurants chains, including proactively reducing the amount of trans fats
through the use of non-hydrogenated oils and spreads and in sauces, marinades
and salad dressings. Cara's chefs and food preparation staff will use a trans
fat free canola oil. In some cases, Cara's restaurants also prepare their
sauces and spreads daily, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for trans
"We applaud Cara for its move today in implementing reductions to trans
fats so quickly and across so many brands and locations," said Sally Brown,
CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and co-chair of the Trans Fat
Task Force. "We are pleased to see leadership by Cara in helping Canadians
reduce their intake of trans fats. This is a great direction for 2008."
The Task Force's recommended two per cent trans fat limit relates
specifically to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, shortenings, margarines
used for deep-frying, frying, pan-frying, grilling or those used as spreads.
Naturally occurring trans fats, such as those found in dairy and meat are not
subject to these limits.
In addition to the trans fat announcement, Cara also announced today that
detailed nutritional information will be available for all its restaurants
online and in printed form in restaurants by January 1, 2008. This information
may be helpful to Canadians making healthy resolutions in the New Year.
"Cara is dedicated to providing fresh and healthy meal choices for
Canadians," says Hayes. "In our efforts to provide the perfect Guest
experience, we believe that our Guests shouldn't have to be concerned with
excessive hydrogenated oils and fats. And we believe making this change right
now, is the right thing to do."
All of Cara's restaurants offer healthy menu items, some of the most
popular examples are:- Swiss Chalet chicken is Rotisserie chicken, which means it is slow
cooked in its own juices. In addition, there are several menu options
with the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Health Check Symbol™ - this
program, based on Canada's Food Guide, helps consumers identify
healthy meal choices.
- Montana's offers many healthy side choices including spinach salad,
baked beans, baked potato or steamed vegetables.
- Harvey's was the first national hamburger chain in Canada to offer
trans fats free menu options; in addition, a bottle of water can
substitute a fountain pop at no additional charge.
- Milestones offers lighter choices including a grilled seafood salad,
which provides many essential nutrients and offers a lower calorie
option than other menu options.
- Kelsey's offers steamed vegetables, baked potatoes and the Sonoma
salad as healthy side dishes with meals.Cara fast-tracked its activities in Calgary to allow the company's
restaurants in that area to be fully compliant with the new Calgary Health
Region guidelines that come into effect on January 1, 2008. Hayes added that
in getting ready to meet the Calgary trans fat requirements, the company made
the decision to extend the reductions earlier than required across all
About Cara Operations Limited
Cara Operations Limited is Canada's leading branded restaurant and
airline services organization. The company is more than 120 years old and
operates some of the most recognized brands in the country including Swiss
Chalet Rotisserie & Grill, Milestones Grill and Bar, Montana's Cookhouse,
Kelsey's Neighbourhood Bar & Grill, Harvey's and Airline Solutions. For more
information visit www.cara.com.