Restaurateurs in France are nervously awaiting the result of a debate by French lawmakers over a bill that would force them to label dishes made in-house with fresh ingredients, which, by extension, would mean signalling to customers when they are not.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
The "faite maison" was approved by France's lower house in June and is due to be debated by the senate this week, according to the Financial Times.
The proposals have come amid fears that French restaurant standards are declining. In April it emerged that 31% of all French sit-down restaurants use industrially prepared ingredients, according to the Synhorcat associate of hoteliers.
Fast food sales are also thought to have overtaken those of sit-down restaurants for the first time, perhaps due to changing lifestyles in France.
The French have shorter lunch breaks than they used to, down from an average of one hour and 20 minutes 20 years ago, to just 22 minutes today.