Tip of the Week

Does your coffee machine cause cross contamination of nuts, soya and dairy?


With the increased interest in veganism, more and more people are requesting a nut based milk in their coffee as opposed to a dairy milk.  The increase in use of nut based milks in coffee (almond, cashew, hazelnut, etc.) brings with it a huge potential for cross contamination of nuts via the coffee steam or shared utensils such as jugs.

This is a worry if your customer is allergic to nuts as there is potential for a milk based coffee (cappuccino, latte, etc) to be contaminated with nuts.  Equally, if a customer is allergic to dairy and opts for a nut or soya milk, there is potential for cross contamination of your coffee from milk residue on the steamer.

Standard practice in coffee shops, restaurants, bars, etc., is to wipe the coffee machine steamer arm with a cloth to remove any residue milk.  This is not 100% effective in removing nut or dairy residue and, of course, the cloth is used multiple times so is itself contaminated.

If you have a coffee machine, it is worth checking your procedures to ensure that nut milks are stored separate from normal milk, and separate utensils such as jugs are always used – colour coding jugs is a good way of separating the two consistently.

Equally, a procedure needs to be put in place to effectively clean the steamer arm before and after using a nut milk.  Ideally use a separate frother machine for nut and soya milks.


Check your coffee making procedures to ensure there is no risk of cross contamination of nuts or dairy.

Weekly Food Fact

Did you know that the work Espresso means “pressed out” in Italian.  An espresso is made by forcing boiling water through pressed coffee grounds.  And, although espresso has more caffeine per volume than coffee, it would take three shots to equal the amount in a regular cup of joe.

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