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Mcdonalds French Fries


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15 replies to this topic

#1 infiore

 
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Posted 14 March 2007 - 08:54 PM

Are the fries at Mcdonalds truly safe? I have read they are not, that at first they claimed to be but it was founded that their fries have wheat in them? Anyone? I have a 5 yr old and she wants to eat fries at at least one fast food restaurant, but I want to be very very careful. Thanks much :)
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#2 pugluver31902

 
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Posted 14 March 2007 - 09:37 PM

McDonalds claimed that the fries were gluten free, but then later it was revealed that they were fried in the same fryer as the breaded chicken, so that makes them not gluten free. Im sorry! You can try asking at Wendy's, some have seperate fryers. What state do you live in? Cheeseburger in Paradise has gluten free fries. They are really good and can be ordered for take - out.
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#3 CarlaB

 
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Posted 15 March 2007 - 05:18 AM

McDonalds does use a dedicated fryer for the fries, they are not fried with the nuggets. When they are pre-cooked, there is wheat in the oil/seasoning. McDonalds has said that this does not supply gluten and they tested the end product and they are gluten-free. http://www.medicalne...hp?newsid=38129 Some people still have problems with them but it might be from contamination.

There are cross-contamination possibilities at all fast food restaurants. I'd visually watch to see if they use the same tongs for wheat products as they do the fries.

Wendy's fries are gluten-free, but not all Wendy's have dedicated fryers, you need to ask.

Chick-fil-a's waffles fries are also gluten-free, but again, ask about the fryer.

As already mentioned, Cheeseburger in Paradise has gluten-free fries, and a gluten-free menu.
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#4 infiore

 
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Posted 15 March 2007 - 10:03 AM

McDonalds does use a dedicated fryer for the fries, they are not fried with the nuggets. When they are pre-cooked, there is wheat in the oil/seasoning. McDonalds has said that this does not supply gluten and they tested the end product and they are gluten-free. http://www.medicalne...hp?newsid=38129 Some people still have problems with them but it might be from contamination.

There are cross-contamination possibilities at all fast food restaurants. I'd visually watch to see if they use the same tongs for wheat products as they do the fries.

Wendy's fries are gluten-free, but not all Wendy's have dedicated fryers, you need to ask.

Chick-fil-a's waffles fries are also gluten-free, but again, ask about the fryer.

As already mentioned, Cheeseburger in Paradise has gluten-free fries, and a gluten-free menu.

Thank you Pug and Carla!
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#5 hockeymom

 
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Posted 16 March 2007 - 03:57 PM

the fries at Mcdonalds are not Gluten-free. When my son first went gluten-free we had directly contacted Mcdonalds regarding their fries and we were told that they were in fact gluten free. I was also told they they use a dedicated fryer. My son got very ill after eating the fries. A few weeks later it was all over the newspapers that Mcdonalds was not honest about their fries being gluten free. It seemed to be an issue of symantics. Apparently they considered the fries to be made of potatos that are Gluten free however the oil is not. Either way, they are not gluten-free and it made me very angry that they were not up front about it. We will never go near another McDonalds ever again!!
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#6 psawyer

 
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Posted 16 March 2007 - 06:41 PM

There was much discussion here a year ago about the fries at McDonalds. Read them all and then decide for yourself based on your personal interpretation of the available information.

To summarize, McDonalds became aware early in 2006 that one (only one) of their suppliers in the US (only in the US) used a processed wheat extract in the flavor that they added to the oil in which the fries were partially fried prior to being frozen and shipped to the stores.

They are not covered by FALCPA, but voluntarily made the disclosure while arranging for an independent party, the University of Nebraska, to test the end product for detectable gluten. None was found.

Are the fries gluten-free? You decide.

Was McDonalds honest? The law did not apply to them, yet they made a disclosure. They could have hidden behind the fact that the law did not apply to restaurant food. They did not. Were they honest? You decide.

There is a significant risk of cross-contamination in any restaurant, especially a fast food restaurant where most of the employees are paid minimum wage and simply don't care. McDonalds is actually one of the better places in terms of isolating the fries and hash browns to a dedicated fryer in a physically separate part of the store.

I don't own shares McD, don't work there, and never have. I have no vested interest except the truth.
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#7 larry mac

 
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Posted 16 March 2007 - 08:59 PM

hm,

Your son got very ill after eating their fries one time. That is a fact and no amount of discussion is ever going to change your feelings about that.

I've never considered McDonalds fries all that great unlike many who just rave about how they are the best. I always preferred the other fast food places fries, such as Jack in the Box, Wendys, Popeyes. Now however, they are the only ones I'll eat because I know our location uses a dedicated fryer. My son worked there, you can see the fryers and what's going on. I've eaten the fries there quite a few times with no problems. For me, that's a fact. When and if I get sick I'll have a new perspective.

I suspect the greasiness is more of a problem for our celiac stomachs than the unmeasurable amount of wheat.

best regards, lm
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gluten-free 12-18-06

colonoscopy, upper GI
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diagnosed celiac disease by Gastroenterologist Andrew R. Gottesman, 12-18-06

"Sobriety sucks. That's why they invented booze in the first place." Denis Leary - Rescue Me

Beware the chocolate of Chiapa


#8 pugluver31902

 
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Posted 17 March 2007 - 06:08 AM

Just thought I would add this. I went to Wendy's yesterday and checked first to see if they had a seperate fryer. The woman seemed fairly knowledgeable, like she gets the question a lot. She said "Yes, we have a seperate fryer which cooks only the french frys. We never ever use it for anything other than the frys, and no breaded products go near it." Oh, let me add something. I am pretty much an asymptomatic Celiac. I have a few symptoms, but nothing that would be affected immediatly by eating gluten. It was diagnosed as a fluke when my doc ran some post surgery bloodwork to check all my levels, and then confirmed by a stomach biopsy. I never ever have any stomach problems. Ok, with that said, about an hour after I ate the fries, I was sick as a dog. Cramps, D, gas, everything. Blah. Now it always could have been a fluke, but Im pretty sure it was the fries. :(
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#9 gfp

 
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Posted 17 March 2007 - 07:08 AM

hm,

Your son got very ill after eating their fries one time. That is a fact and no amount of discussion is ever going to change your feelings about that.

I've never considered McDonalds fries all that great unlike many who just rave about how they are the best. I always preferred the other fast food places fries, such as Jack in the Box, Wendys, Popeyes. Now however, they are the only ones I'll eat because I know our location uses a dedicated fryer. My son worked there, you can see the fryers and what's going on. I've eaten the fries there quite a few times with no problems. For me, that's a fact. When and if I get sick I'll have a new perspective.

I suspect the greasiness is more of a problem for our celiac stomachs than the unmeasurable amount of wheat.

best regards, lm

Larry, its not that the levels are unmeasureable, just that they are unmeasureable with THAT test...
The MDL of gluten on ELISA tests is down in the ppm range (2-20 at best) compared to what could be measured with instrumentation .. That McDonalds chose the least accurate test just indicates they didn't want to risk the more sensitive testing... I can't honestly beleive it was a cost issue for a company the size of McD...

The real problem is that it makes it impossible to tell if its the oil or the cross cointamination seems to get many of us sick.... I strongly suspect its mostly the latter but unless McD are going to pay for GCLC to detect in ppb ranges then its hard to be sure...

Afterall it wouldn't kill them financially to do this and publish the results...
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#10 CarlaB

 
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Posted 17 March 2007 - 07:38 AM

I've never considered McDonalds fries all that great unlike many who just rave about how they are the best.

They USED to be the best, back when they cooked them in lard. :P Now they're just average, but boy were they ever good back then!
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#11 larry mac

 
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Posted 17 March 2007 - 01:28 PM

Larry, its not that the levels are unmeasureable, just that they are unmeasureable with THAT test...
The MDL of gluten on ELISA tests is down in the ppm range (2-20 at best) compared to what could be measured with instrumentation .. That McDonalds chose the least accurate test just indicates they didn't want to risk the more sensitive testing... I can't honestly beleive it was a cost issue for a company the size of McD...

The real problem is that it makes it impossible to tell if its the oil or the cross cointamination seems to get many of us sick.... I strongly suspect its mostly the latter but unless McD are going to pay for GCLC to detect in ppb ranges then its hard to be sure...


gfp,

From the news release linked earlier in this thread:

"According to Dr. Steven Taylor, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska, McDonald's Fries are gluten free and allergen free."

I don't see how Dr. Taylor could make that claim if the results were reportable as between 2 and 20 ppm. Do you have a link to a different report/news article?

If I can get all my food down to the ppb range, I'll be a happy celiac!

best regards, lm
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gluten-free 12-18-06

colonoscopy, upper GI
blood, urine, stool tests, prometheus panel
positive endoscopy/positive duodenal biopsies (severe villous atrophy, high intraepithelial lympocytes)
diagnosed celiac disease by Gastroenterologist Andrew R. Gottesman, 12-18-06

"Sobriety sucks. That's why they invented booze in the first place." Denis Leary - Rescue Me

Beware the chocolate of Chiapa


#12 gfp

 
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Posted 17 March 2007 - 02:06 PM

According to Dr. Steven Taylor, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska, McDonald's Fries are gluten free and allergen free.

McDonald's says that based on this analysis, the company believes the lawsuits filed are without legal merit.

The press release was issued by Jack Daly, Senior Vice President, McDonald's Corporation.

Larry, as you know from working in a lab reports are not written like that...
The first page lists the method, MDL and MRL's if an MRL exists...
MRL's are legally defined and can be somewhat weird... for instance in the UK and Norway the amount of oil an oil rig can recirculate back into seawater is 100x less than the MRL in river water that is used as a drinking supply? (go figure)....

Anyway I did read the tests somewhere after they were done and they were ELISA tests ...

However here is theit statement

Small French Fries
Potatoes, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)*, citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent)), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn 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.)


Ahh and the testing statement
http://www.sdmcdonal...gens_031406.pdf

As it relates to the hydrolyzed milk, initial testing was conducted on the French fries and hash browns using a
Neogen Veratox test at a 2.5 parts per million level of sensitivity. The Neogen Veratox test found no
detectable intact milk proteins. As it relates to the hydrolyzed wheat, initial testing was conducted on the
French fries and hash browns using a RIDASCREEN Gliadin ELISA test at a 3 parts per million level of
sensitivity. The RIDASCREEN Gliadin ELISA test found no detectable intact gluten proteins. Because
partially broken down milk or wheat proteins may be present, and they also may be clinically significant for
an individual with a milk or wheat allergy, these tests are not definitive.

Consequently, we decided that additional allergen testing be done on these ingredients using the
Radioallergosorbent Inhibition Test (RAST). The RAST test found virtually no wheat-allergic residues in the
hydrolyzed wheat ingredient.
The RAST test found some milk-allergic residues in the hydrolyzed milk
ingredient. It should also be noted that the hydrolyzed milk and hydrolyzed wheat ingredients are only a
portion of the natural flavoring and that the natural flavoring itself represents a small amount of the frying oil.




http://www.aaccnet.o...fs/1110-04R.pdf
States that the commerical ELISA test is sensistive to about 10ppm gliadin.
http://www.atypon-li...ournalCode=jaoi

The reason these tests are used is here...
http://www.directlab.../ImmunoLabs.php
Compare that with your price list for quantitive analysis at ppb level for geochem samples...
a good summary here...
http://library.wur.n...ers/09_poms.pdf

Food allergies represent an important health problem in industrialized countries
(Sicherer et al. 2003). In a sensitized individual, even the intake of minute amounts of
allergens can provoke digestive disorders, respiratory and skin reactions. For some
allergic individuals, the contact with a certain food allergen can even provoke lifethreatening
reactions (anaphylaxis).
Since no cure for allergic patients is available to-date, allergic individuals must
strictly avoid the offending allergens in their diet. Total avoidance is sometimes
difficult, as processed food usually contains a wide variety of ingredients including
potential allergens. Sensitive individuals may also be inadvertently exposed to
allergenic proteins by consumption of food products supposed to be free of a certain
allergen. Food products can be contaminated with ‘foreign’ food constituents during
shipping and storage, during processing, e.g. by carry-over due to inadequate cleaning
of shared processing equipment, or by reuse (rework) of allergen-containing products
(Huggett and Hischenhuber 1998).


edit:
Dr. Taylor was paid to say that no gluten was detected .. not that the tests were sensitive to a LDL of several ppm!
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#13 Viola 1

 
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Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:30 PM

:lol: :lol: I think I'm going to up it to a dollar for everytime this subject is raised and discussed :lol:

Bottom line, do your research and make up your own mind :rolleyes:
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#14 lovegrov

 
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Posted 18 March 2007 - 11:22 AM

The Gluten Intolerance Group considers the fries gluten-free.

From everything I've read, and soley in my own opinion, the chance of getting wheat through CC at a fast food place is MUCH greater than the chance of getting gluten from the flavoring in the oil used to cook the fries before freezing. Anybody who is truly so concerned about getting gluten that they wouldn't eat McD fries because of that oil, shouldn't be eating fast food at all.

richard
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#15 lovegrov

 
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Posted 18 March 2007 - 11:34 AM

"The MDL of gluten on ELISA tests is down in the ppm range (2-20 at best)"

FWIW, this would make the fries gluten-free under the standards of most any country that has standards, and gluten-free under the standards that will almost certainly be adopted in the U.S. The GIG certification program tests products just to 10 ppm gluten, although the fries couldn't be certified because of CC and other things.

Personally I don't eat the fries because I just don't think they're all that good.

richard
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