The labelling used on the German-owned supermarket’s own brand of Dairy Fine chocolates has been criticised as confusing for years.
The words “Dairy Fine” on the Aldi brand chocolate are written in a cursive script, making it hard to decipher and easily mistaken for the words “dairy free”, Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia spokeswoman Maria Said told nine.com.au.
“People continue to make the same mistake every year,” she said.
“The fact that the foil on these products does get scrunched up is also a factor that causes people to read it quickly and make the assumption.”
Adding to the confusion, some Aldi stores also stock a brand of dairy-free chocolate, Sweet William.
Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia had been working with Aldi over the past few years to come up with a solution to the problem, Ms Said said.
Aldi last year added the words “milk chocolate” below the words Dairy Fine, which was a welcome step, however, the supermarket giant could always do more, she said.
“This is about people taking the time to read the labelling thoroughly, but at the same time I think food manufacturers need to think about people with a food allergy when we are communicating any aspect of food products on the label,” Ms Said said.
“Nobody feels good about their product causing a reaction in someone even if it is labelled correctly.”
A spokesperson for Aldi Australia said the labelling on its Dairy Fine chocolates was clear.
“Aldi Australia has measures in place to ensure clear labelling of Dairy Fine products, including ensuring the type of chocolate, eg. Milk chocolate, is on the front of pack where possible,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“In addition, the type of chocolate is always stated on the back of pack near the ingredient list. All ALDI’s labels have clear allergen labelling which goes above and beyond current allergen regulations.”
Easter was a high-risk time for people with a food allergy, Ms Said said, with misunderstandings about dark chocolate also causing some mistakes.
“There seems to be the assumption – even within the allergy community which is quite frightening – that dark chocolate doesn’t contain milk,” she said.
“Dark chocolate contains less milk but much of it has either some milk or the risk of contamination is high.
“We have many reported reactions to dark chocolate and people need to take the advice on dark chocolate very seriously.”
Contact reporter Emily McPherson at email@example.com.