The Very Vanilla flavor of Silk Soy Milk has been a popular milk substitute in our house for many years. A new allergen alert added to the carton- "may contain almond, coconut"- prompted me to contact the company. While I knew that Silk had an almond flavor, I wanted to make sure none of those almonds were making their way into the beverage consumed by my dairy and nut allergic child.
I spoke to Veronica at Silk last week. She told me they've been making the almond flavor for nearly a year, but just started putting the warning on the labels because they wanted to be clear to consumers. The almond flavor Silk is kept in a separate storage container and is mixed in separate blenders. Shared equipment is used only when the products are pasteurized. Veronica told me that extreme measures are in place to prevent cross contamination. The pasteurization machinery is thoroughly cleaned between products and tests are conducted before, during and after the pasteurization process. They run water through the machine and test that as well to ensure there is no cross contamination of almond. I was also told that most of their system is computerized to minimize human error.
I feel confident that Silk is ensuring that there is no cross contamination between their flavors. We will continue to use Silk products in our house. Silk will begin manufacturing a coconut flavor in the near future. That warning is currently listed on their labels, however, the coconut warning is of little interest to me as coconuts are a fruit , not a tree nut.
So, drink Silk with confidence, and if you have any questions, contact them directly. I believe they are fielding many calls about this new warning label.