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Australian Government: National Measurement Institute - Trade MeasurementAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute - Trade Measurement
National Measurement Institute

Bread and Bakery Products

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Under trade measurement laws prepacked bread and bakery products for sale must comply with the following:

  • a measurement statement (either by weight or count) and the name and address of the packer (unless packed on the same premises where sold) must be marked on the wrapper or packaging
  • prepacked loaves of bread must be marked with a net weight statement
  • allowance for any reduction in weight due to moisture loss must be taken into account when packing these products so that the weight is not less than that marked on the packaging at the time of sale

Some items can be marked by count or sold individually. Weight marking for the following items is voluntary, although any statement of weight must be accurate:

  • cakes (either single serve or less than 125 g) in packs of one or more, including lamingtons and cut cake pieces
  • pikelets, muffins, donuts and bagels
  • single-serve bread rolls, croissants and buns
  • single-serve biscuits

Items that must be marked by weight are:

  • biscuits and cookies (in packs of more than one)
  • prepacked bread

The trade measurement laws do not cover requirements for non-packaged bread and bakery products. There is no requirement to sell loaves of bread in prescribed weights.

Exceptions to Packaging Requirements

The following products are exempt from the need to include measurement statements and packer details:

  • pies or pasties less than 250 g made for use as an individual serve
  • cakes, puddings and sponges packed singly in a quantity less than 125 g
  • articles ordinarily sold by number that are packed in a quantity of up to eight in a package that is made wholly or partly of transparent material so that a purchaser can readily see the number of articles in it ('ordinarily sold by number’ means that most merchants selling the product in Australia sell it by number and the method is approved by NMI)

Responsibilities of Sellers

When selling by weight, sellers are responsible for the accuracy of their measuring instruments. The instruments must:

  • be of a type approved by NMI and legal for trade use
  • be verified as accurate by a servicing licensee before they are used
  • register zero before they are used
  • be properly installed and appropriate for the intended use
  • be used correctly by staff who have had adequate training in their correct use

Regulating the Sale of Bread and Bakery Products

NMI employs trade measurement inspectors throughout Australia. The role of inspectors is:

  • to ensure that all measuring instruments used for trade are verified and used correctly
  • to monitor the verification activities of servicing licensees
  • to check prepackages for correct packer identification, measurement markings and accurate measure
  • to investigate complaints and resolve problems with trade measurement matters
  • to issue infringement notices or take prosecution action where there have been breaches of the laws

Health and Safety Issues

Sellers should check the health and safety regulations in their state, territory or council area.

For more Information

The main laws covering trade measurement are the National Measurement Act and the National Trade Measurement Regulations. The following refer to the sale of bread and bakery products: regulation 4.4(1), regulation 4.13 and schedule 4 (items 2.8, 2.9 and 5.1).

For more information contact 1300 686 664, or use our on-line form.