Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Toffutti Debate

There is currently a debate, in the milk allergy community if Tofutti is safe for those with severe milk allergies. This issue has come up a few times on different forums, sites and groups the latest is ELL ellfoundation.org to claim a problem. Threads of people, talking about their reactions to Toffuti here and here.

Update on this issue (May 15, 2009)


May I point out that the products say milk free, without any hint of "may contain milk". Their web sites tell a different stories. Only you can decide what is safe.


Toffutti (USA) -See question #7
From Website:
I know all Tofutti products are Kosher Parve, which means that they contain no dairy. However, I was told that some of your products are run on equipment that also runs dairy products. If this is so, how are your products dairy free?



Although we would wish it otherwise, the overall demand for totally dairy free products is not large enough to justify setting up complete production lines for dairy free products only. Most plants we use for manufacturing our products mainly produce dairy items. This is true for all companies who sell dairy free products, no matter who they are. In addition to the normal plant sterilization, cleaning, and testing procedures, we employ a kosher supervisory service, the Kof-K, to supervise the manufacturing of our products to ensure that they are completely dairy-free every time. The methodology and techniques they use to clean the equipment and supervise the production is the process called kosherization. Kosher Parve means that there are no milk (or meat) derivatives in our products. It also means that the equipment used to produce Tofutti is either dedicated to non-dairy products or has gone through the rigorous sanitation and cleaning requirements of kosherizaton. In the typical plant, the equipment is washed and sanitized with a caustic rinse and an acid rinse. The caustic rinse is done with water at boiling temperature (212 degrees Fahrenheit). This is followed by a boil-out with pure water. There are several other components to the sanitation, but they are not listed as they do not affect the kosher status. A rabbinical supervisor is present to independently verify that these procedures are being adhered to and to review logbooks and digital records to verify that these procedures are followed. If you feel that the preceding information raises your concerns about the safety of our products regarding dairy contamination, please do not use our products. Safety of our consumers is always our number one priority. For further information about kosher, please refer to our previous discussion on the subject.

Tofutti (Canada)
From their website:
Question: I know all Tofutti products are Kosher Parve, which means that they contain no dairy. However, I was told that some of your products are run on equipment that also runs dairy products. If this is so, how are your products dairy free?

Answer: Although we would wish it otherwise, the overall demand for totally dairy free products is not large enough to justify setting up complete production lines for dairy free products only. Most plants we use for manufacturing our products mainly produce dairy items. This is true for all companies who sell dairy free products, no matter who they are. In addition to the normal plant sterilization, cleaning, and testing procedures, we employ a kosher supervisory service, the Kof-K, to supervise the manufacturing of our products to ensure that they are completely dairy-free every time. The methodology and techniques they use to clean the equipment and supervise the production is the process called kosherization. Kosher Parve means that there are no milk (or meat) derivatives in our products. It also means that the equipment used to produce Tofutti is either dedicated to non-dairy products or has gone through the rigorous sanitation and cleaning requirements of kosherization. In the typical plant, the equipment is washed and sanitized with a caustic rinse and an acid rinse. The caustic rinse is done with water at boiling temperature (212 degrees Fahrenheit). This is followed by a boil-out with pure water. There are several other components to the sanitation, but they are not listed as they do not affect the kosher status. A rabbinical supervisor is present to independently verify that these procedures are being adhered to and to review logbooks and digital records to verify that the procedures are followed. If you feel that the preceding information raises your concerns about the safety of our products regarding dairy contamination, please do not use our products. Safety of our consumers is always our number one priority. For further information about kosher, please refer to our previous discussion on the subject.



Trano (Triano has the right to Tofutti in (UK)
From their website THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THEIR SITE
I know all Tofutti products are Kosher Parve, which means that they contain no dairy. However, I was told that some of your products are run on equipment that also runs dairy products. If this is so, how are your products dairy free?

Although we would wish it otherwise, the overall demand for totally dairy free products is not large enough to justify setting up complete production lines for dairy free products only. Most plants we use for manufacturing our products mainly produce dairy items. This is true for all companies who sell dairy free products, no matter who they are. In addition to the normal plant sterilization, cleaning, and testing procedures, we employ a kosher supervisory service, the Kof-K, to supervise the manufacturing of our products to ensure that they are completely dairy-free every time. The methodology and techniques they use to clean the equipment and supervise the production is the process called kosherization. Kosher Parve means that there are no milk (or meat) derivatives in our products. It also means that the equipment used to produce Tofutti is either dedicated to non-dairy products or has gone through the rigorous sanitation and cleaning requirements of kosherizaton. In the typical plant, the equipment is washed and sanitized with a caustic rinse and an acid rinse. The caustic rinse is done with water at boiling temperature (212 degrees Fahrenheit). This is followed by a boil-out with pure water. There are several other components to the sanitation, but they are not listed as they do not affect the kosher status. A rabbinical supervisor is present to independently verify that these procedures are being adhered to and to review logbooks and digital records to verify that these procedures are followed.

If you feel that the preceding information raises your concerns about the safety of our products regarding dairy contamination, please do not use our products. Safety of our consumers is always our number one priority. For further information about kosher, please refer to our previous discussion on the subject.


Please note the product runs may be tested but they do not say that products have to be at zero milk protein levels to be released into the public.

7 comments:

Jennifer B said...

Not a big enough demand for completely dairy free? Are they kidding?! Isn't milk allergy the most common for children? (Or milk and egg?)

This is one of my soapbox issues--milk free should mean 100% free of milk, not almost free but with traces of milk! It's very misleading, and consequently dangerous! Thanks for this post!

Maleah said...

I just read another blog with a differing point of view. foodallergyassistant. I am going to continue to use the Tofutti products.

Karen said...

To be clear, my view is "may contain" or "made in facility with" should be on the packages.

However it is most likely safe for most people, depending on degree of reaction and tollerence of milk. Is parts per million safe for your needs ect.

babyboofelt said...

I have an anaphylactic reaction to milk, my first reaction being when I was 6 months old and I can and have eaten their products without any issues at all, and I'm VERY sensitive to how my mouth, throat, and ear canals react to milk as well even in trace amounts.

But I do know that a lot of products marked Kosher do contain milk protein, like sodium stearyl lactylate, which can be either a milk protein or soy, which caused my throat to close up after eating part of a sand which.

Anonymous said...

I am off to read the comments on the other site. But, my daughter DID have a ana reaction to Vanilla Cuties earlier this month (after eating them for 5 yrs!!), and she has never been sensitive to trace. IMO this batch had way more than just trace. My product will be tested and the FDA is currently investigating.

Anonymous said...

My son who has a dairy allergy has had reactions to Tofutti Cuties several times. Sometimes he was fine; other times reacted. What passes as non dairy for Kosher can still mean a food has a trace amount which can pass thru Kosher law but for exquisitely allergic children can set off a reaction.

Anonymous said...

12 pallets of these were found to contain milk protein and the FDA has issued a recall yesterday. Please read the info on FAAN's website for more information.