If you ask most people what dairy is, they will probably say the following:
Sour cream, yogurt, butter, milk (obviously), cheese, cream, and eggs. Let me be clear: EGGS ARE NOT DAIRY. Yes, they are found next to the dairy products in the refrigerated section of the store, but they are not dairy. Cows make milk. Chickens make eggs. The end of that dispute.
While those items above certainly are no-nos for those who can’t consume milk (EXCEPT THE EGGS!), there are many names that milk ‘hides’ in, and label reading is just one of the many feats to accomplish in ensuring you’re not ingesting hidden milk. The FDA requires that companies list the TOP 8 ALLERGENS in a statement in the ingredients. More information on that can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Allergens/ucm106187.htm
Unfortunately, the law does not apply to items such as natural flavorings so you must be a vigilant label reader, and learn the names of hidden milk. Here is a link to an excellent, comprehensive list of hidden milk names:
If in doubt, don’t eat it, or be sure to call the company for more information about their ingredients. If they don’t know what’s in their product, it is a product that you do not want to eat.