The European Parliament last week voted to allow bread to be exempt from legislation which will deregulate pack sizes for pre-packed products across Europe.

At present, under UK law, bread over 300g must weigh 400g or a multiple of 400g - for example 1,200g. The EU Nominal Quantities Directive had originally stated that all products would be deregulated.

But on May 10, the European Parliament said that existing sizes for pre-packed products (such as pre-packed bread) "will not be affected by this directive and can continue to be used".

The legislation now passes to the European Council to approve it as amended, a "horsetrading" process which may take three to four months, Federation of Bakers director Gordon Polson told British Baker.

The Nominal Quantities Directive only covers packaged goods, so bread sold loose is exempt. Whatever is decided, it will continue to be sold in regulated sizes, unless the Department of Trade and Industry reviews the situation.