Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Red Covers May Leach Dye


According to a recent email from the Feingold Association of the United States,  Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Mild Cheddar suggests that Laughing Cow “was unable to be sure if the dye in the red plastic cover will leach out into the cheese.”

You know which red plastic (I thought it was wax!) covers we are talking about.  They are the ones immortalized in the book, Ivy and Bean No News Is Good News:

Vanessa opened her lunchbox and took out a small red ball. It was a ball of cheese, but nobody cared about the cheese. The cheese was totally unimportant. The important thing was the coating around the cheese. It was wax. The wax was red. It was smooth. If you pulled on the secret string inside it, the wax split into tow halves.

Just for the record, Babybel calls them wax too. Anyhow, apparently, the red plastic/wax covers may contain chemical laden red dye. Babybel isn’t giving any clues. According to the Babybel global website:

The wax that we use for the coating of this product is made up of an appropriate mix of paraffin wax and micro crystalline. There is no Bisphenol A in the wax. Its quality as stated “for food contact “responds to very strict criteria set up by the regulations.

Hmmm… No mention of the red dye.

On a side note, the website also contain this FAQ about “protecting the environment”:


Be sure that the protection of the environment is one of our major concerns. Specialists work every day to improve our packaging and make them friendlier for the environment.

Thus, each packaging element has its own function and is essential to keep Mini Babybel fresh.

The red wax that wraps Mini Babybel is part of the cheese protection and ensures in all points the functions of a crust. It prevents desiccation or moulds and helps preserving the cheese in proper hygienic conditions until consumption.

The cellophane is important for two reasons. On one hand, it completes the cheese protection, and prevents the wax from shock damages. On the other hand, it prevents it from sticking when we take the cheese with us, which is essential for a single portion.

Regarding the net, it contains small cheeses: it is the most efficient method that exists with the shrink wrap.

I contacted Laughing Cow and await a response. Stay tuned.


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About the Author

is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Jennifer continues to write about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - follow her on and .
  • eeew. This is so gross. It’s amazing to me how many companies get away with putting so much GARBAGE in our food supply!

  • Pingback: Eat Drink Better | Bel Brands USA Responds To Red Wax Wrapper Question | Eat Drink Better()

  • Kevin

    The “wax” is definitely made of a food grade wax (and apparently a low percentage of Polyethylene) with a food safe red color added.

    The “Plastic” that is mentioned is referring to the red “cellophane” wrapping (red tinted clear “plastic” wrap). The red plastic wrap doesn’t come into (direct) contact with the cheese, but apparently there is some concern that in some situation, the red dye in the plastic wrap can leak (leach) through the protective wax coating and affect the cheese.

    Your article is a few years old now. I don’t know the current status of this issue.