The soft German pretzel is alarmed it could be branded a salt risk but Brussels says it is over-reacting. After Bavarian bakers were reported to be in a twist, worried that future European food rules would rank the savoury bread pastry as a health threat, a European Commission spokeswoman set out to reassure them.
She said: “I would like to clarify that the Commission is not prohibiting any bread and has no intention to regulate the salt level in bread, neither in Germany nor elsewhere in the EU. On the contrary, we are well aware of the importance and the sensitivity of the issue. What we are doing is based on extensive consultation to make the nutrients included in food products more transparent to consumers.” How to put EU rules concerning the food industry into practice is still under discussion. If a product boasts virtuous properties, such as “rich in fibre” or “low in salt”, then the nutritional content will have to be justified. If no such claim is made, what you see is what you get. And on a pretzel, the little salt lumps are very easy to see, on the outside.