Phenylketonuric patients are on a special diet that lacks certain essential fatty acids. This study evaluates the essential fatty acid status of a group of phenylketonuric patients in the Netherlands undergoing dietary treatment. To this end, the essential fatty acid status of nine phenylketonuria patients was studied. On the basis of age and gender, two control subjects were selected for each patient. The essential fatty acid composition of duplicate food portions and the essential fatty acid status of plasma and erythrocytes were analyzed. Phenylketonuria subjects had a different essential fatty acid profile from their peers, especially concerning the n-3 fatty acids. N-6 and n-3 fatty long-chain polyenes were hardly consumed by phenylketonuria subjects, in contrast to the control subjects. Linoleic acid, on the other hand, was consumed in significantly higher amounts by phenylketonuria subjects and made up about 40% of their daily fat consumption. The essential fatty acid consumption pattern of the phenylketonuria subjects is mirrored by the essential fatty acid concentrations in blood. The essential fatty acid status of the phenylketonuric diet should be improved in order to prevent deficiency in n-3 fatty acids.