Of course almonds are not lactate—but keeping many dairy products straight may not be a breeze.
HP Hood LLC is voluntarily recalling more than 145,000 half-gallon cartons of its Vanilla Almond Breeze almond milk after a batch was contaminated with cow’s milk. “Employee error” is to blame for the contamination of the non-dairy beverage, according to the company, which announced Reminder last week.
Breastfeeding has revealed the bitter truth about almond milk production: it’s processed in the same house as cow’s milk, the dairy’s rival. The revelation may leave some bittersweet as regulators and lawmakers grapple with the definition of “milk.” The dairy industry, therefore, continues with its long-standing argument that companies selling non-dairy beverages are gaining in moo-juice’s reputation.
Last month, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb noted that the agency’s current standards specifically identify milk products as those from dairy animals — which would exclude non-mammary fluids of we wash from fruits, soy beans, rice, coconut etc. to call them. “milk.” Gottlieb said the agency will review the situation and soon issue new regulatory guidance on how beverage makers should use the term in product marketing and labeling.
While the dairy industry cheered the news, some lawmakers had a cow. Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced legislation that would withdraw funding from the FDA, undermining its efforts to review milk marketing.
“Consumers are not fooled by these labels,” Lee said Roll Call last week. “No one buys almond milk under the false pretense that it comes from a cow. They bought it because it didn’t come from a cow.”
Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, meanwhile, called the law “an attack on dairy farmers.” Roll Call perceive.
The Senate ultimately voted 14-84 to defeat the measure.
The National Milk Producers Federation praised the vote, writing in sentence (PDF):
Today’s vote should send a very strong message to food retailers who have long ignored food labeling standards by misapplying dairy laws on products that do not contain any dairy. Those days are numbered.
Now, the Hood almond-milk maker is trying to clear up the mess by improperly using actual dairy in its product. The company notes that adulterated almond milk is harmless unless a drinker has a sensitivity or allergy to dairy. At the time of the recall, there was one report of a consumer who had an allergic reaction to milk thistle. That person does not need medical attention.
In an email to CBS News, Hood’s representative explained the situationWriting:
Although we process almond milk on a separate and full line and we confirm that the allergy control procedure (sic) all standard validation tests are performed in accordance with our allergy control system, a specific batch of almond milk was contaminated with a container. milked by staff error. Hood has decided to recall all products from this phase as a precaution.
To get the specifics on which almond milk cartons are being recalled, you can see Hood’s announcement Here.