Sainsbury's said it is "suprised" at comments made by a UK council over an issue regarding excess packaging on one of its product lines.

The UK retailer's Taste the Difference beef roasting joint is understood to be under investigation by Lincolnshire County Council over claims that it breached 2003 regulations, which prohibit the use of excess packaging.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury's said the packaging of the product in question has now been reduced by 53%, and is set to be reduced by "at least" another 10% within the next few months.

"We were surprised by the comments made by Lincolnshire County Council, which do not reflect the very positive outcome of our meeting with Lincolnshire's packaging team," the spokesperson said. " In fact, we have been informed that the council, in light of that meeting, is currently looking again at whether it will proceed.

"Reducing packaging is a key part of our environmental commitments, which is why we have set an industry-leading target to reduce it by a third by 2015, and we've made great progress to date."

The retailer this morning announced that it is to start stocking its 'basics' cereal range in bags rather than boxes.

The supermarket launched 'basics' Rice Pops in bags last year and said today that it will now convert the range by the end of the year.