The Real Reason Dunkin' Can't Make Nondairy Lattes

A time before nondairy milks seems nonexistent. When you go to the grocery store today, you have an abundance of nondairy options in the cooler section to choose from. You could go with the classics, such as almond, oat, and cashew milks, or go for more unique options such as hemp, rice, pea, and even potato milks. You could even stick with soy milk — the pioneer of nondairy milks (per the New York Times). With the rise in popularity of nondairy milks, though, comes a heightened concern for people with nut allergies and how they can protect themselves from cross-contamination.

According to Better Health, peanut, tree nut, and seed are the most common allergies that could result in intense, drastic allergic reactions. These allergies can include a broad range of nuts, seeds, and legumes, but the most common ones are peanuts, chickpeas, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and even coconuts (via Better Health). However, one Redditor questioned a rule that some Dunkin' employees have to follow regarding nondairy milks, and the answer may just be tied to these allergies.

Some Dunkin' locations can't steam nondairy milks for fear of cross-contamination

One person posted their recent experience at a Dunkin' on r/DunkinDonuts. They wrote, "Cashier told me that they couldn't make my order because they can't steam nondairy milk. Is that true, or did he just not want to make a latte? He cited [a] recent policy change, which I know does happen, but I'm having a really hard time believing it." Fellow Redditors and some Dunkin' employees jumped in to clear the air.

"[It] [d]epends on the franchise owner. It's possible that [that] particular location had issues with cross contamination and thus had a policy change effective at that specific location only," one user wrote. One Dunkin' employee revealed that not all stores have the same number of machines, since some stores are independently owned (per the company's official website), writing, "Dunkin's are owned by different people[.] [A]t mine[,] we had two machines so we could do it but not everywhere."

Another Dunkin' employee said, "[M]y franchise didn't allow us to steam almond or coconut milk, or use them in the [O]asis [blender] because of allergens. We had a sign on the machines that said almond milk couldn't be steamed, [and to] offer an iced version to guests instead." Hot lattes are on Dunkin's menu with all five milk options available, so it may be best to check with your local store to see if they're well equipped enough to safely steam nondairy milks.