Dark chocolate products may contain milk, FDA cautions

Silver Spring, MD – People with dairy allergies should watch out – that dark chocolate treat might contain milk.

A recent Food and Drug Administration study of 93 dark chocolate bars found that more than half did not clearly indicate on their label they contained milk. Six of 11 chocolate products labeled with “traces of milk” had milk at levels high enough to potentially lead to a severe allergic reaction. Additionally, two out of 17 dark chocolate products labeled as dairy-free or allergen-free contained milk.

Because labels on dark chocolate products can be inaccurate, consumers may want to contact the manufacturer to learn how it handles milk during production, the FDA suggests. Information about the manufacturer is available on the food label.

Traces of milk can end up in a dark chocolate product if that product shares equipment with a milk chocolate product, according to FDA.

Consumers can learn of food products that have been recalled and can alert FDA about any undeclared allergens.

Food products are required by law to display names of allergens on their labels.