View Full Version : Legal definition of homemade?

03-31-2004, 09:40 AM
I've been hearing radio commercials for Bluebell Homemade Ice Cream, and it got me wondering...what is the legal definition of homemade? I assume that Bluebell ice cream is not made on the front porches of homes in Mayberry, handcranking the machines on a hot summer's day. So, what must a company do to claim its product is "homemade?" Or can anyone slap a label "homemade" on something and call it good?

Mr. Kobayashi
03-31-2004, 09:57 AM
Here in the UK I saw a piece on the news about some pie shop not being allowed to use 'homemade' on their packaging anymore.

IIRC it was to do with the size of machinery they used.

03-31-2004, 11:10 AM
Here's the regulation for Canada (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/guide/ch4e.shtml#4.1)
The term "homemade" describes a food that is not commercially prepared. "Homemade" foods do not require further preparation. The use of a brand name or trademark symbol in conjunction with the term "homemade" is considered misleading if the food is prepared commercially. Other descriptors will be assessed on an individual basis.

The terms "homemade style", "home-style", "like homemade" may be used to describe a food that may contain mixes, in whole or in part, from commercial or private recipes. In advertising, these terms are potentially misleading when the food is portrayed in a home setting.

The claim "tastes like homemade" is left to the judgment of the consumer and is, therefore, acceptable.

Rationale: "Homemade" implies that a food is prepared in a home. Therefore, the use of the term "homemade" to refer to a food prepared in a commercial establishment, including small, artisan like establishments, is considered misleading. When a food is prepared in the style of a "homemade" food, the term must be qualified (e.g., "homemade" baked beans versus "homemade style" canned baked beans).
I'll be damned if I can find the regs for the United States.

03-31-2004, 12:10 PM
Otto, that sounds very confusing. Does it mean if the product is made from a private recipe, it can be considered "homemade?" But aren't all food products made from private recipes? After all, Coke and Pepsi have their own recipes, but they're not considered homemade.

That bit about "no further preparation" can be applied to any ready-to-eat food, from deli chicken to pre-cooked bacon.

Is it just a scam, then, the term "homemade?"