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LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. -- Online e-grocer FreshDirect here has thrown its support behind the efforts of New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to change the metropolis' health code to eliminate the use of trans fats and hydrogenated oils in all city restaurants.
FreshDirect said it was ahead of the game. In November 2005 the manufacturer/retailer took all trans-fat-producing hydrogenated vegetable oils out of products produced in the its bakery, kitchen, and catering departments, as a way to "promote healthier eating and help combat heart disease, New York City's leading cause of death," said FreshDirect. (Story continues below.)
"FreshDirect is committed to providing high-quality, nutritious dining choices to its busy customers, and stands wholeheartedly behind Mayor Bloomberg's initiative," said FreshDirect president Steve Michaelson in a statement. "Our customers have embraced the healthier recipes, and we've seen a steady increase in sales of our ready-to-cook and chef-prepared meal options since removing all artificial trans fats."
Added executive chef Michael Stark, "Removing all hydrogenated oils from FreshDirect's kitchen and bakery was a relatively painless process that only adds to our customers' dining experience, from nutrition to flavor."
As well as removing all hydrogenated oils and artificial trans fats from its offerings, FreshDirect said it is complying with the second proposed change to the health code, by making calorie content and nutritional information available for every item sold on its Web site. By clicking the "Nutrition" link on each item's detail page, shoppers can find out about the selection's calories, serving size, fat content, and vitamins.
FreshDirect serves most of Manhattan and locations in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as parts of New Jersey and Westchester and Nassau counties. The company has more than 250,000 customers, and has fulfilled nearly 5 million orders since opening for business in September 2002.