A report by the Department of Public Health released Friday advises the board of supervisors to plan a voluntary program instead. The county had been contemplating both a trans fat ban and a requirement that restaurants list nutritional information on menus.
The county counsel found that California law gives the state jurisdiction.
The health department recommended as one possibility, that the county give an identifying decal to restaurants that agree to remove trans fats from the menu -- similar to letter grades that are posted in restaurants to indicate their compliance with health department standards.
"Because people are used to looking in restaurant windows to see the A, B, C grading, a lot of diners will appreciate restaurants who have made the extra effort to protect their cardiovascular health by eliminating trans fat," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, county director of public health.