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Warning - Are 9bar no longer free from dairy?


I have been a fan of 9bar for quite some time. Following a few mystery stomaches I decided to take a closer look at what I had been eating. Last night I pulled the 9bar packet out of the cupboard and noticed they were no longer declaring to be dairy free. I was 100% certain they had previously been marketed as free from dairy so I emailed the company for clarification. Here is the response -

"Thank you for your message via our website. Firstly, we apologise for any concern that the removal of our dairy free claim from 9bar has caused.

This decision has been taken as a result of a lack of clarity and guidance from the Food Standards Agency on the rules for claiming dairy free on a product, and whereas with claiming gluten free there are clear guidelines we can follow as a manufacturer, for dairy free claims we have recently been advised that there is a zero tolerance approach.

Whilst we have strict manufacturing practices in place for all allergens, we do use several dairy ingredients within our factory at times when we are not manufacturing dairy free products, and because there is therefore a theoretical risk of cross contamination below the limits of detection which is currently 2.5 parts per million, we cannot guarantee the complete absence of dairy and therefore have taken the decision to remove the dairy free claim from the 9bar range until such times as there is clear guidance from the Food Standards Agency.

We have not changed any of our manufacturing practices for 9bar, and in our opinion the bars are as safe for those with dairy intolerance as they have ever been, however for the time being we cannot claim dairy free for the reasons stated above."

I admit I had been lazy and not checking favourite products for changes. I simply bung them in the trolley at the supermarket and do not give it a second glance. I wanted to post this on my blog as a warning to others, especially if like me you have not been checking labels of your regular snacks. I do not know if 9Bars have been my trigger but I will be avoiding for the time being.