Lactose intolerant customers suffer a range of unpleasant side effects when inadvertently served up a meal rich in lactose, the sugar naturally occurring in milk.
But dairy doesn’t need to be completely abandoned for these individuals as many may tolerate lower lactose dairy foods. Review our work around tips for lower lactose and lactose free menus.
Aged, hard, semi-hard and soft cheeses contain little or no lactose as do butter, margarine and non-dairy finished products such as bread and other baked goods, meat, fish and fish products, readymade meals, confectionery, thickeners and binders. Lactose free dairy milks are available and plant based milk alternatives such as soy and rice milk naturally contain no lactose.
Fermented milk products such as yoghurt, kefir and cultured milk/butter milk are often well-tolerated due to their lower lactose levels in the presence of bacterial cultures which break down lactose. While naturally lower lactose containing dairy foods like ricotta, cottage and cream cheese and cream may also be well managed. Check with your customer, patient regarding their tolerance for these foods before offering.
Milk including full cream, skim, reduced fat, flavoured, evaporated and condensed milk and foods derived from these such as custards, white or cheese sauces, milk-based desserts, ice cream, caramel and cheese cakes will be high in lactose. Replace these dairy ingredients in foods with low-lactose or lactose-free milk, or milk alternatives such as soy, rice or oat milk. Look for versions that are calcium fortified where possible.