I recently found a labeling error on a package of Dove Dark Chocolate Almonds. I bought them for a "mommy snack" at work since the almonds and milk chocolate are not safe for Little Guy.
Out of habit, I read the list of ingredients and may contain statement.
Here's the label. Do you see the error?
Although they shouldn't, many people depend on the may contain statement.
They TRUST it. I've done it too.
- The well meaning Grandma who has a grandchild with a dairy allergy, but just checks the "may contain" statement rather than checking the ingredients?
- The busy Mom who grabs a snack for her child?
- The classroom parent who tries their hardest to bring in a safe snack for all the kids in the class?
- The hungry teenager who just glances at the packaging while hanging out with friends.
If you're going to include a MAY CONTAIN statement on your product, then please make sure it's correct.
I recently contact Mars (maker of Dove) about this error. The customer service representative read me their response to my question:
"As per the FDA, if any allergens are listed under the ingredients, it does not need to be listed in the contains or may contains".
I thanked her, then politely tried to emphasize that this could be a deadly mistake for someone. She spoke with her manager, and they asked me to mail in the packaging (which I will happily do), so they can assess the error further.
I hope Mars will make changes to this packaging and include the correct allergen information. I also hope this is a reminder for all of us in the food allergy community NOT to trust the allergen statements.
Focus on the ingredients instead.
I will let you know what I hear from Mars on this issue. To be continued!!