Trans fat: An insider’s guide to eating at Starbucks


If you asked your local barista about the new Starbucks Trans Fat Ban earlier this week, you might have caused some confusion. At least, that’s what happened when we asked them.

In San Lorenzo, a worker at the Starbucks across from Rasputin’s was sure that the “Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookie” and vanilla cupcakes were trans fat-free, but she wasn’t sure about the other items.

In downtown Hayward (Mission and A), staffers were a little tentative on Wednesday but must have gotten the memo by Thursday. The lemon scone and everything else left on the rack Thursday evening was most definitely trans fat-free, they said.

We decided to check with a corporate spokesman in San Francisco, since the company’s online store locator reports that there are 24 Starbucks stores in Hayward, Castro Valley, San Leandro and San Lorenzo. (According to our own calculations, that’s about one Starbucks for every 14,833 people in the Daily Review’s coverage area.)

Here’s what Starbucks wrote back Thursday:

Our national promotional food items have contained zero grams of trans fats since September 2006. As of Jan. 3, 2007, 50 percent of our U.S. company-operated stores have converted to zero grams of trans fat for all food offerings. These markets include Seattle, Portland, Northern California, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. We are working closely with our regional bakeries to offer food with zero grams of trans fat in 100 percent of our U.S. company-operated stores by this year.

Here in Northern California, we started to eliminate trans fats in our locally baked products about a year ago based on customer requests. Since then we have eliminated trans fats in all of our bakery, lunch and warmed food products.

Just remember: That doesn’t mean your toffee bar transformed into a broccoli.