News and Commentary

Vegan Mac And Cheese Recalled For Containing Milk Without Notice
Vegan Sweet Potato Mac 'n' Cheese in a bowl with a spoon of crumbs and rosemary shot on April 12th, 2016 in Washington DC.
Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The makers of a vegan mac and cheese product have issued a voluntary recall after determining it may contain trace amounts of milk, an allergy concern and issue for those looking for vegan products.

Milk is an animal byproduct, something vegans avoid, but the main concern with the recall notice seems to be the allergy issue. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a notice on Thursday announcing that Amy’s Kitchen had voluntarily issued an allergy alert on a single batch of Vegan Organic Rice Mac & Cheeze.

“Amy’s Kitchen is initiating a voluntary Class I recall of Lot 60J0421 of the Vegan Organic Rice Mac & Cheeze due to the potential of having trace amounts of milk, which is not declared on the product label. The company is recalling this single lot out of an abundance of caution to ensure the safety of consumers who have an allergy or sensitivity to milk.  Such consumers should not eat Lot 60J0421 of the Vegan Organic Rice Mac & Cheeze to avoid the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction,” the FDA’s announcement said.

“Amy’s is working with its retail and distribution customers nationwide to ensure that any remaining inventory of the impacted lot of the Vegan Organic Rice Mac & Cheeze is removed from distribution. No other Amy’s Kitchen products are impacted,” the FDA continued.

The trace amount of milk protein were discovered by a third-party laboratory and prompted Amy’s to immediately contact the FDA to issue the warning. The recall applies to 15,626 cases of the company’s Vegan Organic Rice Mac & Cheeze.

Product review website BGR noted that “Milk allergies are more common in children, but some people remain allergic after childhood. Reactions to any allergen can be deadly if the allergy is severe enough, milk included.”

“Separately, milk or lactose-intolerant people can develop digestive symptoms after eating the product from the recall,” the outlet added.

The Spruce Eats explains that, because “milk is derived from cows, milk is a no-go for vegans, even if it’s organic or direct from a farm.”

“The reasons for not drinking milk are, in fact, quite similar to the reasons people choose to become vegetarian: animal rights and welfare, environmental reasons, and health concerns. Even though the animal is alive when it is milked, vegans cite that there is poor treatment of dairy cows, including steroid use and forced impregnation. If the decision is based on health, it may be that the dairy can negatively affect digestion and cholesterol, and contain hormones or a protein that does not agree with them,” the outlet added.

The fact that a product marketed to vegans contained milk, and that the only concern is that of allergies seems to have escaped Amy’s and the FDA, but it should come as a warning for anyone with restrictive diets that mass produced food, whether it is vegan or gluten free or something else, is not always as pure as it appears.

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