France Fights Back Against Frozen Food
Authentic French cuisine has long been the unofficial standard for fine dining and quality food, so foodies and culinary academy students come to expect the best from dining “au Francais.” However, a recent survey revealed that a shocking 31 percent of French restaurants serve pre-made and frozen foods that were not actually prepared by the restaurants themselves. The survey didn’t even include any of the numerous fast-food eateries located throughout the country.
In response to these findings, the Lower Senate has revived a bill that would restrict the label of “restaurant” to only be applied to places that prepare their own food in-house. The law would award the label to eateries that prepare their meals using either fresh ingredients or food that was frozen raw. There would also be exceptions for foods that are outsourced to other businesses that prepare foods themselves using homemade methods, such as bakeries or ice cream makers. This exception allows for restaurants to still serve quality food items that may not have the high-quality ingredients the bakery it outsourced has.
Some restaurant groups are supportive of the new bill saying that it will create transparency for diners and prevent the tarnishing of France’s culinary reputation, while other groups worry that it will lead to an uneven market of skewed prices and job loss. However, supporters also argue that it will create jobs since restaurants will need to employ more cooks to prepare dishes as they transition away from frozen meals to foods being made in-house. Opposing groups feel that instead of limiting the use of the term “restaurant” that a special “artisanal restaurant” label would be a more fair and less confusing way to regulate food preparation standards.
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