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Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
National Measurement Institute

Bread and Bakery Products

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According to trade measurement laws pre-packed 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.
  • The marked weight must be the net measurement (it must not include the weight of any packaging material).
  • 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 measurement 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 biscuits
  • single-serve bread rolls, croissants and buns.

Items that must be marked by weight are:

  • biscuits and cookies (in packs of more than one)
  • pre-packed 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.

Bakery products include but are not limited to:

  • biscuits and cookies
  • bread rolls, croissants and fancy breads
  • cakes
  • slices
  • desserts and puddings
  • donuts and lamingtons
  • meringues
  • pies and sausage rolls
  • pikelets and crumpets
  • rum balls
  • taco shells
  • tarts.

Exceptions to Packaging Requirements

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

  • pies, pasties or sausage rolls 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 The National Measurement Institute (NMI)). Refer to our document Approval for the sale of products by number or linear or area measurement.

Responsibilities of Sellers

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

  • 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 (PDF 806KB) 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 pre-packages 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 has been a breach of the law.

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 1960 and the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009. 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.