Omni gets an oil change

Omni Hotels is skimming the fat.

We speak here not of hotel spas. Rather, the chain announced today that all of its hotels will transition to a zero grams trans fat cooking oil by March 1.

The new oil, a combination of cotton seed oil and canola oil, will replace the partially hydrogenated oil now being used.

The change will impact menus in restaurants, in-room dining and banquet service. As always, the biggest hurdle was making good French fries, something fast-food chains have struggled with for years as they moved to non-trans fat oils.

Fernando Salazar, Omni vice president of food and beverage, agreed. "The ultimate test was the French fries. We weren't willing to make a change until we found a replacement that looks and tastes as good -- or better -- than our guests expect.

"We sought a solution for our valued guests that balances their dietary considerations with the high culinary standards they expect from a luxury hotel. We have been testing alternative oils since fall 2006 and are confident we have found the right replacement to meet consumer health needs and taste demands."

Omni Hotels encompasses 40 hotels and resorts in North America and the Caribbean. (The Montreal Omni is shown above.)

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