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FDA Deregulates French Dressing

Credit: Unsplash

You’d be surprised what random details about food the US Food and Drug Administration bothers to keep on their books. For example, did you know that for the past 70 years and change, any salad dressing that called itself “French dressing” had to contain vinegar, lemon or lime juice, and a vegetable oil concentration of at least 35%? Any condiment that didn’t include those precise three ingredients was not allowed to call itself French dressing.

Apparently, someone at the FDA came to the realization recently that that’s kind of silly, so yesterday, the FDA announced that they are officially deregulating French dressing on the grounds that the previous requirements “no longer promotes honesty and fair dealing” in the customers’ interest.

The FDA believes that doing away with this bizarre rule will “provide greater flexibility in the product’s manufacture, consistent with comparable, nonstandardized foods available in the marketplace.”

With the rules rewritten, condiment manufacturers can pretty much make whatever they want and call it French dressing, on the obvious stipulation that all ingredients contained within are 100% safe for consumption as determined by the FDA. This should prove beneficial to manufactures, who for years have had to come up with ways to skirt the rules on technicalities like calling their French dressings “imitation.”

Manufacturers are now free to adjust the vegetable oil content of their French dressing, which would make it creamier or lower fat depending on whether they add or remove. They can also add new ingredients such as tomato paste or additional spices.

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