Sunday, September 19, 2010

Goodbye McDonald's french fries.... I hate you!

For the past 1 1/2 years, I have been under the understanding that McDonald's french fries were one of the only things that I could eat at their establishment. Last night, when looking at their allergen list on their website, I found this statement about their fries:

French Fries:

Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid
pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to
preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK *(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).

Their OIL contains wheat?? Say WHAT????

I will admit that I was so upset by this statement! For some reason I found myself crying about it. It's not that I love their french fries, but it was an option for me that I used from time-to-time when I took my son for his favorite Chicken Nuggets.



  1. Hi Kristen!

    Here the link to a good post about McDonald's French Fries and their gluten-free status (from Linda over at Gluten-Free Homemaker):

    That being said (this is a rather "controversial" topic in the GF community), there are definite precautions you should take:

    1. Find a local McDonald's and pay a visit during non-peak hours and ask to speak with a manager.
    2. Ask the manager if they use a dedicated fryer for their french fries.
    3. Ask the manager how the oil is cleaned (my local McDonald's manager said they combine the oil from all the fryers into one vat, clean it then re-disperse the oil back into the fryers. This made me feel too uneasy to take the risk, but each McDonald's may be different, just ask.
    4. If you decide to accept the risk, order during non-peak hours (the odds of cross contamination happening will hopefully be less), and avoid the drive-thru.
    5. Place your order with a manager, not a teenage employee.
    6. Diversify your risk by making this a rare, occasional treat.

    For more information, the Celiac Sprue Association has a statement on their website:

    Hope this helps a bit!


  2. My understanding is that the oil in question is not the frying oil, but an oil used in the preparation of the fries prior to them being cooked. I, too, avoid McDs fries and do miss them. Those fries served as an emergency snack when I was vegetarian and in the early days of gluten-free eating. Now I know they are neither vegetarian or gluten-free. Darn!

  3. I have been eating these fries on and off since I was diagnosed with my gluten intolerance - I also just discovered this a few weeks ago. On top of that - their hamburger patties have trans fat. GROSS! I'm down to being able to eat a salad there. Be aware, even their hashbrowns have wheat.