French restaurants microwaving ready-made meals will soon be forced to disclose this to their customers.
The French government announced yesterday that meals prepared in a restaurant will have to be identified with a “homemade” logo, the lack of a logo will thereby show that items have been bought elsewhere and just re-heated.
A survey by restaurant federation Synhorcat had found that nearly a third of French restaurants eateries owned up to using some ready-made dishes.
The French government is hoping the new law, will motivate more restaurants to prepare all their dishes from scratch to restore the standing of French gastronomy.
However many critics have argued the complexity of the new law will backfire and consumers will be none the wiser as to the providence of the food they consume when they eat out. Worries have also been raised the already overworked health inspectors face an uphill task in enforcing the law.
For restaurants to have the right to use the “homemade” label, dishes need to be prepared on the premises using “raw products that have not been heated or substantially altered before landing in a kitchen.” However products that are frozen, peeled, sliced or chopped elsewhere are still permitted under the new rules, with the notable exception of the humble French fry which cannot be labelled “homemade” if it is a frozen product.
Certain staple products such as cheese, pasta and bread still be bought in be called “homemade”. Other loopholes include restaurants calling a a dish “homemade” as long as the brand of the product, or the name of the produce is specified.