With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

11 January 2014

Cross-contamination with a Keurig

At school, we have a Keurig machine and K-cups of coffees, teas, and hot chocolates for the students in my program. Ah, modern day high school student incentives! Not too shabby, eh? One student has a variety of food allergies and I realized that it might not be safe for her to enjoy the Keurig, so I mentioned the possibility of cross-contamination. K-cups bear labels indicating possible cross-contamination with peanuts and tree nuts, and I've noticed a tiny amount of residue from the K-cups does remain in the machine. Depending on one's level of sensitivity, that might present a problem. The student wisely chose to forego the cup of hot chocolate.
Keurig addresses the question of allergens in K-cups on their website:
"What allergens are contained in your K-Cup® packs?
Flavored coffee K-Cup® packs made by Coffee People®, Gloria Jean’s, Green Mountain Coffee® and Timothy's Coffee® do not contain any nut proteins. They declare that their flavored coffees are free of all nut allergens because the flavored coffees are all flavored in separate vats from the non-flavored coffees. Even though there are no nut proteins used, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters performs a thorough clean-down between flavors during the production process.

Hot cocoa K-Cups may contain milk, soy or tree nuts so please refer to the K-Cup® packs detail page for specific nutritional information about a hot cocoa K-Cup® pack:

Café Escapes Mocha Specialty K-Cup® packs
Café Escapes Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-Cup® packs
Café Escapes Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-Cup® packs
Café Escapes Chai Latte K-Cup® packs
Green Mountain Coffee Hot Cocoa K-Cup® packs
Timothy’s White Hot Chocolate K-Cup® packs
Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Packet

Additionally, all coffee and tea K-Cup® packs are egg, dairy and gluten-free"
Keep in mind there are fake "K-cups" that go by other names which are compatible with Keurigs, so there may be additional allergen information available for those products. You can never be too careful!


Gratefulfoodie said...

Thanks for doing the homework here! I was very curious about this. My daughter and I had a nice short vacation and our hotel room had one the Kruig machines and K-cups but I would not let her use it. I just did not trust it.

Now, I actually have a real answer for her. Thanks for doing the leg work!

Sandi said...

This is a great post. I didn't think about the possibility of cross contamination in coffee pods. We have a nespresso machine