In 2015 multiple coconut milk products were recalled due to the presence of dairy that was not declared on the product labels. The recalls followed reports of people having severe allergic (anaphylactic) reactions to the dairy ingredient/s. The following information was released at the time.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has urged consumers with a dairy allergy to be aware of recent recalls. In these recalls dairy products were present in the product but were not declared on the product label, as required under the Food Standards Code.
FSANZ is aware of two reported cases of anaphylactic reactions associated with the consumption of coconut milk drinks. A media statement was issued on 23 October 2015 to remind all businesses, including importers, about the need to meet mandatory allergen labelling requirements.
Food enforcement agencies in the states and territories and the Department of Agriculture (the enforcement agency for imported food) are investigating similar products.
As a precautionary measure, the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture is inspecting all imports of the recalled products, to ensure the labels now declare the presence of allergens, and is working to identify and inspect other imported coconut milk drinks. If milk products are not declared on the label, samples will be sent for testing to determine whether an undeclared allergen is present and further recalls may be possible.
The Department of Agriculture has also provided information to industry about these recalls and is working with the NSW Food Authority and other regulators to identify and contact other businesses that import coconut milk drinks to make them aware of the recalls and request they check and confirm their allergen labelling is correct.
FSANZ recalls page
Department of Agriculture Imported Food Notice
New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries advice to consumers