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Food Allergy Resources

Foods Labeled "Nondairy" May Contain Milk Protein

May 2006



Current U.S. food labeling regulations allow for an item to be labeled as "nondairy" on the package even if it has casein in it, a milk protein. The labeling regulations do require that the ingredient statement on nondairy products indicate the presence of casein or caseinates in the actual ingredient statement on the package. The regulation states:

"When foods characterized on the label as 'nondairy' contain a caseinate ingredient, the caseinate ingredient shall be followed by a parenthetical statement identifying its source. For example, if the manufacturer uses the term 'nondairy' on a creamer that contains sodium caseinate, it shall include a parenthetical term such as 'a milk derivative' after the listing of sodium caseinate in the ingredient list."

So, if you see a product labeled "nondairy" on the front of the package, don't assume that it is milk free! Always scrutinize the actual ingredient statement to look for any milk-derived ingredients.


Reference:

Food and Drug Administration. (2004). Food; designation of ingredients. In Food Labeling. (21CFR101.4(d)). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from:
http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2002/aprqtr/21cfr101.4.htm


Reviewed by KFA Medical Advisory Team June 2005; Revised May 2006, March 2011







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