Hotel Chocolat in the UK have actioned a recall of their ‘milk free milk’ products. Here is the main statement from the company as posted on their website:
Clarification on the dietary status of ‘Milk Free Milk’
We are very sorry that we haven’t made it clear enough who can eat our Milk-Free Milk and who can’t. We did take advice (including labelling advice from Trading Standards) before we launched it, but the fact that some misunderstanding exists shows us that we were not clear enough. Please have a look at our comprehensive Q&A. Thanks to dietary groups who have made contact and offered advice, which we are using.
The full Q&A statement about the recall can be seen here.
It is that old argument about calling something dairy free when there is a small possibility of trace elements of milk proteins due to dairy being used in the same factory.
Of course this could be problematic for people with allergies, but Hotel Chocolat want vegans to know there are no dairy ingredients added to this milk free range.
How do you feel about the ‘may contain traces’ labelling? Does it stop you from buying a product?
I prefer to buy certified vegan brands when I can, mostly just to promote and boost vegan sales and encourage more vegan products. The trace issue doesn’t bother me so much, it’s frustrating I find to give money to companies who support and use dairy and eggs in their products because in someone I must be funding that even though I’m not buying dairy/egg products however I don’t think it’s practical for me personally to avoid doing that so I must live with the frustration.
I’m happy to eat products that “may contain”. I’m not allergic to dairy, I just want to know they’re not an ingredient in the recipe or whatever I’m buying. Lots of smaller producers can’t necessarily afford to use vegan-only manufacturing premises, so have to use factories that also produce other things. I feel that as long as I’m not buying dairy (or whatever) products then I’m supporting vegan produce, whether that be from a vegan company, someone trying to make vegan-friendly products (like Hotel Chocolat), or even from companies that just happen to make accidental-vegan stuff (like Oreos!!). Hopefully they’ll be able to relabel these products and have them back out on the shelf soon 😀
My non-vegan sister got me this egg for Easter, she had to check the ingredients a fair few times because the name of the range confused her. Maybe renaming isn’t such a bad thing 🙂
I’m not bothered by ‘may contain traces of …’ as I understand it generally means that most of the time there are no such traces, and even if there are, they are vanishingly tiny.
Needless to say, the more we buy the vegan stuff, the smaller the traces are likely to get. 🙂
To me, veganism is about using your money the way we will all use our votes in the election. It’s about consumerism, it’s about me not using my money to support animal mistreatment and slaughter and as I don’t have a dairy allergy I’m not fussed by the ‘may contain… ‘ labelling (as long as the actual ingredients list is truthful).
I will buy ‘may contain traces of milk’ products as they clearly weren’t meant to be in them. However, thinking further on it, interesting that I would be much less inclined to buy ‘may contain traces of meat’! For me, in an already very limited diet, turning down a possible rare tasty product because it ‘might’ contain TRACES of milk, can be a step too far.
Personally, I would still buy a product if milk is used in the same factory. It seems silly to boycott a product or brand when they’ve gone to the trouble of making something “milk-free” or vegan friendly. If we were to stop purchasing, the company would stop making them completely and we vegans would be in an even worse position.
I buy the ‘may contain traces of milk’ items, in the hope to encourage companies to produce more vegan items (as many companies aren’t 100% vegan or, even if they are, cannot control the supply chain enough to guarantee items are 100% dairy-free). If there’s no demand, they won’t continue to make them.
Shame they didn’t get the labelling right this time round I hope they manage to resolve it & start selling the range again.