Question: Does dark chocolate have milk?
Answer: There isn’t a definitive answer to this question because the ingredients in dark chocolate vary across products. Basically, some products have milk while other do not.
To determine if a dark chocolate has milk, you need to read the ingredients. Because milk can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people, particularly children, U.S. labeling requirements require products that contain milk to state milk as an ingredient on the packaging. However, evidence shows that dark chocolate is not always labeled as containing milk when it actually does contain milk.
According to the FDA, chocolate is one of the leading foods that may contain milk, which is not appropriately labeled as such on the product. In a recent study, the FDA sampled 94 dark chocolate bars from across the U.S. from different manufacturers. They found that six products contained verbiage indicating milk as an ingredient. 88 bars did not reflect milk as an ingredient on the label, but 51 of 88 actually did contain a milk-based ingredient.
The FDA found that many dark chocolate products were not made with milk, however, they were made in facilities that also produced milk chocolate. The dark chocolate was produced using the same machines or equipment as the milk chocolate which indirectly added milk to the dark chocolate. The FDA has been taking steps to remedy this problem, but it could be years before dark chocolate manufacturers sort it all out.
In short, you should stay away from dark chocolate if you are looking to avoid milk unless you can clearly find evidence that the manufacturer is not exposing the dark chocolate to milk or using it as an ingredient. We personally would not risk consuming dark chocolate if we were allergic to milk. The consumer is too much in the dark at this point when it comes to what is really in dark chocolate.