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Costa Oat Milk Change: Is It Safe For Coeliacs?

At the end of December 2021 Costa made a change to their dairy free milks, affecting not only one dairy free milk but three of them. This changed meant the oat milk became unsafe for Coeliacs, with potential cross contamination issues to boot.

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Costa Oat Milk Change: Is It Safe For Coeliacs?
A year or so ago there was a large drama with Costa when they introduced oat milk that wasn't gluten free. Thankfully that changed when they switched to Alpro gluten free oat milk. Everything was right in the world again.

However the end of last year the nightmare started again when it was announced all Alpro oat milk was being removed from Costa and changed to a new brand of oat milk called Apez which is produced by Coca Cola - who now own Costa! This oat milk is not gluten free (oats are only safe for Coeliacs if labelled gluten free).

To make matters worse, not only is the oat milk now not gluten free but the soya and coconut milk carry may contain warnings for wheat, so if you are a dairy free or vegan Coeliac it looks like its black coffee! Some Coeliacs may choose to eat and drink products with may contain warnings but there is always a risk they do contain gluten, manufacturers are legally only supposed to add this label if there is a real risk of contamination, not just for the sake of it.

These other milks with the may contain most likely have may contains as they are probably produced on the same site as the oat milk.

But where does this leave Coeliacs? Of course if you aren't dairy free you can have regular milk but cross contamination is always a worry. If you watch them make your lattes or hot chocolate you will see they tend to use the same steam wand for all the milks, this isn't always the case though, I believe some stores have one wand for dairy free and one for dairy so it maybe worth checking this.

In my experience Costa staff aren't always the most knowledgeable (it once took them half an hour to even find the allergy book in one Chester store), however if you trust the branch enough you can of course ask them to clean the wand before they do your drink so you don't miss out too.

We aren't saying costa is completely out if the do use the same steam wand, you can have course stick to those drinks that don't use the wands and you're good. Cold dairy and none dairy drinks have separate blenders so you are fine on that front too.

It is a gutting move especially when there is so many Coeliacs who are also dairy intolerant, but when it comes down to who owns the franchise there isn't much that can be done to reverse the decision unfortunately, but we can live in hope they do have a gluten free alternative to the dairy free milks at some point.

Will you still be drinking at Costa? Let us know in the comments.

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