NEW YORK - The Food and Drug Administration is taking the first steps to completely eliminate trans fats from the food industry.

The FDA announced that it will require a gradual phasing out of all trans fats, citing a threat to people's health. It says the change could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths each year.

Officials say trans fats will take some time to get rid of because companies need time to reformulate their products.

Trans fats are relatively common in products such as donuts and cookies, and some restaurants fry food in oils that contains them.