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Allergens In Coffees, Milks & Syrups

At Pret we have coffee-making down to a fine art. Our Barista-prepared coffee is 100% organic and always arabica. Our teas, milks and milk alternatives are all organic too. And because our Baristas hand-craft your beverage just for you, you can let them know exactly what works best for you.

But while serving great coffee is important to us, so is the health and wellbeing of our customers. Whilst we try to keep things separate, we cannot guarantee any item is completely allergen-free, and that includes our drinks. 

Our coffee counters are busy places using shared equipment to prepare, store, and handle multiple ingredients. While we take precautions, there is always a possibility that different food products will come into contact with each other. 

That being said, our Baristas are allergy-trained and we do have steps in place to keep our customers with allergies or intolerances as safe as possible…

We keep our milks separate…

With so many of us going plant-based, more people are requesting milk alternatives in their coffee. That’s fine if it’s just a personal preference, but it needs very special care for customers with allergies or intolerances. Shared utensils, serving spaces and steamer arms can all increase the risk for cross contact. And, if your allergy is severe, even a small amount of an allergen can be enough to trigger a reaction.

When you order, tell your Barista that you have an allergy. They’ll be more than happy to show you that our milks are kept in separate, colour-coded jugs and you can watch them prepare the drink if you like. 

Baristas also purge and wipe our coffee machines’ steamer arms whenever they switch between alternative and dairy milks. However, this may not be enough to completely remove every trace of potential allergens. That’s why, if your allergy is severe, our freshly prepared drinks frothed milk drinks may not be suitable for you.

We always double check…

Our Coffee Calling process means we’ll always repeat your order several times so you can be sure we’re giving you the right drink. They’ll repeat your drink choices back to you when they take your order at the till, when the Barista has finished making your drink, and then again when the server passes you your drink. This gives plenty of opportunity for you to let them know if it’s not right for you. 

…and we label your drinks

Each of our Oat, Soya and Rice-Coconut milks comes with its own distinctly coloured sticker - whether you’re drinking from crockery, reusable cups or paper cups, you’ll see that each hot or iced drink will be clearly labelled. As the Barista finishes making your drink, they’ll place the relevant sticker either in the centre of the lid, on the cup handle, or on the side of the cup. 

Then, using our Coffee Calling process, they’ll announce the exact order and pass the drink to your server, who will then repeat your order as they hand you your drink. This way, there are both audible and visual reminders of your order, so it’s clear exactly which type of alternative milk you’re receiving.

Common Questions Around our Milk Alternatives:

Why can you not have alternative milks in Frappes or Shakes?

While different milk options, flavours and extras are available for our Barista Prepared Drinks, this doesn’t apply to our Frappes and Shakes. These can only be made with dairy milk options, and it’s all down to the way we make them. 

The Frappes and Shakes we blend here at Pret use special ice cubes that come pre-mixed with dairy powder to give them their thick, creamy texture.

In the mood for something cold? There’s no need to miss out. Why not try a delicious iced latte or iced hot chocolate? Please be aware though that choosing alternative milks, flavours and extras on your drink can change the allergen information, so always ask your Barista. When one of our baristas prepares a drink using an alternative milk, such as soya, rice-coconut, oat or almond, they’ll pop a sticker with the alternative milk name to the lid of the cup.

Eating with us too? Learn more about how we label the ingredients on all of our freshly prepared foods. 

Do you use separate milk jugs for dairy milk and milk alternatives?

Our Baristas have separate, clearly colour-coded jugs for all our milks and milk alternatives, and your drink will come labelled to tell you what’s inside.

Is your oat milk gluten-free?

Our oat milk does contain gluten and is therefore not suitable for coeliacs. If you are severely allergic to gluten it’s worth noting that while we clean and purge our steamers, there is a risk of cross contact with gluten when our Baristas prepare drinks. Unfortunately this means we can't guarantee our frothed milk drinks are suitable for those with allergies.

Do you use the same steam arm to heat up your dairy and alternative milks?

While we take great lengths to purge and wipe our coffee machines’ steamer arms whenever we switch between alternative and dairy milks, this may not be enough to completely remove tiny particles of potential allergens. So if your allergy is severe, our frothed milk drinks may not be suitable for you.

Does Pret's hazelnut syrup contain nuts?

No, our hazelnut syrups do not contain nuts. 

Are Pret syrups allergy friendly? 

None of our syrups contain any of the 14 declarable allergens. But please remember to check our Allergen Guide regularly so you’re never caught out by a new take on an old favourite. It contains detailed information on allergens in all the food and drink we sell in our shops.

Want to know more? The Pret Allergy Plan is our commitment to customers with food allergies and intolerances.

Pret's Five-Point Allergy Plan

Pret's Five-Point Allergy Plan

Read more about our commitment to customers with food allergies and intolerances in Pret’s Allergy Plan online.

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Ingredient Labelling

Ingredient Labelling

Discover Pret’s approach to ingredient labelling and get peace of mind when you’re eating with us in our online ingredient labelling guide.

Pret’s Allergen Awareness Training

Pret’s Allergen Awareness Training

Nothing is more important to us than your safety. So find out more about the allergen awareness training we give to every member of our hard-working team.