Europe shares its wide selection of frozen bakery goods – the products that distinguish European culinary traditions and rich cultural heritage from others.

Frozen bakery

Frozen bakery goods are bakery products that have gone through a suitable freezing process known as ‘quick-freezing.’

The EU Regulations only apply to foodstuffs that have undergone the quick freezing process as specified. Air, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide that meet specific purity criteria are the permitted cryogenic agents. The temperatures at which frozen bakery shall be distributed and stored and the appropriate labeling requirements and enforcement procedures are set out. An indication must be given as to the minimum durability of the product and the appropriate length of time that the purchaser can store the product. Products should be labeled ‘quick-frozen.’ Quick-frozen foods must be packaged in pre-packaging, protecting them against external contamination and drying.

Requirements of Frozen bakery freezing process

Frozen bakery goods are the products subjected to the ‘quick-freezing’ process, in which the temperature zone of maximum crystallization is spanned as rapidly as possible, and the product is then held (after thermal stabilization) at a temperature of – 18 °C or lower.

Quick freezing must be carried out promptly, using appropriate technical equipment, on raw materials of sound, genuine and saleable quality. Only air, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide meeting specific purity criteria may be utilized as cryogenic media (i.e., at very low temperatures). The European Commission sets the purity criteria.

Deviations from the temperature of – 18 °C for quick-frozen foods are permitted during transport and local distribution and in retail display cabinets. The deviation in such instances must not exceed 3 °C.

Packing and labelling specificity

Frozen bakery must be packaged in pre-packaging, which protects them against external contamination and drying.

The labeling of frozen bakery must include the sales name, the indication ‘quick-frozen,’ and the batch identification. The other compulsory information varies according to the intended consumer of that product.

Frozen Bakery Quality Control

EU countries must ensure that the equipment used for quick-frozen foods complies with the directive, and they must conduct random official checks on product temperature. The Commission is granted powers to adopt detailed rules for sampling and monitoring temperature in the modes of transport, warehousing, and storage.

The Member States shall ensure that the sampling procedure and the method of analysis needed for the official inspection of the temperatures of quick-frozen foods are carried out in accordance with the provisions described in Regulations.