Wide-ranging new food ­labelling laws moved a step closer this week after receiving the backing of MEPs.

Legislation backed by the European parliament will usher in requirement for new font sizes on labels which, as The Grocer reported last month, will land food and drink companies with costs running into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The rules, which now ­require final approval by the EU Commission, expected in late August or early September, will also make the provision of information about energy content, fats, sugar and salt mandatory for ­pre-packed food sold across the EU.

However, the EU backed away from proposals to make comprehensive front-of-pack nutrition ­labelling, including traffic light colour coding, ­compulsory.

MEPs did, however, press ahead with plans for the country of origin of meat to be made clear on food labels, closing a ­loophole that previously allowed manufacturers to label food as British if it was processed in the UK.