Fresh bread, how to distinguish it?


Fresh bread, frozen bread, thawed bread. How to distinguish them?

Bread, a staple in the Italian and Mediterranean diet, has suffered a drastic decline in consumption. Precipitated to less than 90 grams daily per capita. Also lost was the tradition of fresh bread, whose fragrances gladdened the streets of the entire Peninsula.

Some tips on how to choose bread in supermarkets have already been published by us. Taking into account the fact that, on the label, it is possible to read when it is fresh, long-life or thawed bread.

Fresh, thawed or pre-frozen bread?

The conundrum arises when bread is instead served in restaurants, public establishments, canteens, and caterers. Since European rules on consumer information are nuanced when food is being served rather than sold. (1) In such cases, the European legislator merely requires the citation of allergens, leaving it up to the member states to decide what additional information, if any, to require.

Information requirements on bread used in public establishments to make sandwiches, bruschetta, sandwiches and whatnot are also uncertain. Theoretically, food sold in bulk should be subject to the same mandatory reporting as prepacked food. With the only difference being that the information can come on sales signs, instead of just on labels.

The words ‘thawed,’ after all, should accompany the food name ‘wherethe omission of such information could mislead the purchaser.’ (2) When food, frozen before sale, is sold thawed. And yet, ‘that obligation does not apply:

(a) to the ingredients in the final product;

(b) to foods for which freezing is a technologically necessary step in the production process;

(c) to foods on which thawing has no adverse effect on safety or quality.‘ (3)

In practice, it is the Food Information Regulation itself that allows the consumer to be kept unaware of the previous frozen physical state of a bread that constitutes an ingredient in a sandwich. With an exemption whose proponents, McDonalds and others, are easy to guess.

Dario Dongo


(1) See reg. EU 1169/11, Article 44

(2) See reg. EU 1169/11, Annex VI, Part A, point 1

(3) Idem c.s., item 2