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Dairy Free

Catering for dairy-free customers is more than just taking cheese off the menu. Whether it’s a cow’s milk allergy, a lactose intolerance or customers with ethical reasons for excluding dairy, milk-based ingredients lurk in surprising places.

Breakfast

When serving breakfast, always offer non-dairy milks such as soya, oat or coconut. Be aware that granola and other mainstream cereal products are good hiding places for dairy. Milk powder (a manufactured dairy product made by evaporating milk) can make its way into store-bought granola to extend its shelf life. Try making granola from scratch with added wholegrains, fruits and nuts.

Lunch

A handful of crisps to garnish a sandwich adds some crunch to a plate. However, in your new dairy-free mindset, understand that sour cream and chive flavour and any kind of cheese-flavoured potato chips have traces of milk powder. Salad dressings are also culprits – even vinaigrettes. Many contain Parmesan or other cheeses and whey protein, so it’s important to read the ingredients thoroughly. Check other condiment and sauce bottles too!

Dinner

A classic dish like fi sh and chips can be dairy free but be careful as many batter mixes contain milk products. The safest bet to a dairy-free meal is to make your own beer batter in-house. For a crisp coating, use beer and fl our with added salt and water. Serve tartare sauce for a finishing touch which doesn’t contain milk or milk-based products.

Pre-made tomato pasta sauces or passatas may also contain milk products – so beware if you have customers asking for dairy-free options and always ensure that your staff are aware of which menu options are dairy free if they are asked.

“1 in 3 Brits drink non-dairy milks”
- Mintel, 2021
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