Whilst dairy allergy and lactose intolerance are caused by two different elements within cow’s milk, those of you who experience either condition probably have a common goal, the desire to avoid cross contamination.
Milk is tricky to clean from machines, it gets in all the small spaces and its why many products have cautionary warnings when manufactured on production lines that handle this ingredient. Sadly, it becomes all too common to come home with a sore tummy and wonder what caused it. You rack your brains wondering where cross contamination occurred because you triple checked all the labels and asked the right question to avoid your allergens. We can keep ourselves safe at home but enjoying a drink out at a local cafe isn't always a relaxing experience. I can often order a hot drink with soya milk but I worry about it being made on the same machines which use dairy milk.
Have you ever watched the barista at work? You may have notice that between uses the machines are wiped down with a special cloth (usually orange) but there is often no dedicated lactose free cloth to avoid cross contamination. I was interested to hear that Chicopee* is launching a reusable, heat resistant, absorbent purple cloth with the aim to be the new industry standard colour for lactose free hot drinks. It sounds like a simple solution and I welcome the initiative to create awareness and address problems for customer with intolerances and allergies. For those who are intolerant to lactose or dairy, knowing that steps are being taken to avoid cross contamination may be just what you need to provide a little peace of mind next time you are ordering a grande, chai tea latte with soy milk.