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Mcdonalds French Fries
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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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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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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.medicalnewstoday.com/healthnews.php?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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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.medicalnewstoday.com/healthnews.php?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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.sdmcdonalds.com/balanced/PDFs/a...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.org/cerealchemistry/sam...fs/1110-04R.pdf

States that the commerical ELISA test is sensistive to about 10ppm gliadin.

http://www.atypon-link.com/AOAC/doi/abs/10...ournalCode=jaoi

The reason these tests are used is here...

http://www.directlabs.com/ImmunoLabs.php

Compare that with your price list for quantitive analysis at ppb level for geochem samples...

a good summary here...

http://library.wur.nl/frontis/allergy_matters/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

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: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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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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"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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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

Richard, I honestly think its two seperate issues.... and that CC is WAY bigger in fast food regardless..... but there really are seperate issues IMHO...

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.

Several countries have zero as gluten-free but really it boils down to semantics...

Just give me a few paragraphs to explain WHY....

In one case, I have a friend who gets seizures from gluten, each one is potentially life threatening.

Unfortunately her life expectancy isn't that great due to cancer but lets assume for the sake of discussion it was...

Her eating out at McDonalds at all is stupid (and she never would), 90%+ because of the risk of CC.... BUT should she have a right to eat safely at home?

Its unfortunate she can't eat out but of she buys gluten-free shouldn't she have the right to EXPECT it is indeed gluten free and not "fairly low" ....

Now the second part is many of us seem to react to LOWER than 20ppm .... its damned hard to say because I know I react to certain codex gluten-free stuff... but is that because its 20ppm or because the manufacturer accidentally CC'd and its perhaps a bad batch at 200ppm?

I honestly can't say for sure... I just know I react...

However many of us here are more concerned about things other than D or intestinal cramps/pain... honestly I'm a tough sorta guy... I'd put up with it if it wasn't for the long term health risks....

The majority of CURRENT research on celiac disease is not about gut's ... its about neurological or other implications... and a considerable weight of evidence shows you can have very severe to life threatining and terminal conditions without flattened villi.

Nearly all of these very scary conditions are long term conditions....just like you don't get lung cancer from one cigarette you don't get intestinal cancer or thyroid conditions from one glutening.. its a process whereby long term chipping away has a bigger effect than occaisional stuff....

What worries me most is stuff I eat on a almost daily basis.... stuff which is perhaps contaminated or simply only tested to a certain limit....

Much more accurate tests are available.... FACT the McDonalds oil showed positive to the RAST test... and a more expensive GCLC would have provided probably more info... legislating at 200 or 20ppm is just making an excuse for the manufacturers lying... they will select the least sensitive test not based on cost but because its likely to provide the best chance of a negative.

Even if a company wishes to make as close to 100% gluten-free as possible they are hindered because their competition can simply use less accurate testing .... and they are not forced to disclose that testing....

What I think is most sensible is that manufacturers are simply forced to disclose the testing accuracy and limits... then the consumer can decide objectively....

Even MORE IMPORTANTLY .... those of us whom react to traces can actually work out if its inconsistencies and determine our comfort levels... I don't see me eating McDo's fries simply for the same reason you state... HOWEVER there are circumstances where I might risk a low gluten (gluten-free-lite) meal or risk McDo's fries instead of not eating...

I honestly believe that more long term damage is done from extended and regualr consumption of low gluten CODEX than eating a pizza once a year washed down with beer... I'm not saying we should do this... everyone should make up their own mind.... BUT what I do think is not only reasonable but should be a right is that they are provided the information to make these choices.

Once this is available then far more information will be available for the bleeding edge research on celiac disease... currently its hampered by people's inability to actually BE gluten-free...

The cost of testing is based on the popularity of certain tests... if a lab is set up to do a type of analysis the costs are a fraction of a one off analysis...

**** /boring part on how analyses are run and costs

When you make a accurate quantitiative analysis you use what is known as intrumentation.... these are machines like GC-MS, GC-LC etc. they are more or less automated machines... you prepare a sample, follow the method and stick the sample vial into the queue.... along with standards for calibration....

If you are measuring a certain type of sample you select a column which is sensitive to this type of sample... the puropse of the column is to seperate the different components and they are fairly expensive, the cost depends on the column and its specificity and how many the supplier sells... a really advanced lab will also develop their own and this is ridiculously expensive for one offs...

If a standard column exists however you purge the machinbe (costs time) and then you must recalibate the whole machine (costs more time)... then run standards and more calibration... etc..

Then you pop in the sample vessel and hit GO.... 10 minutes later the SW calibrates and gives you the answer...

99% of the cost is in calibration and methods... if a lab had a machine set up to run gluten and only gluten samples could be run for $100.... if not then it will cost $5000 (per sample for a run ) or $25000 per sample for short run...

Depending on the column it needs recalibation from time to time... and replacement...

However the cost of this is only significant if the analysis company have to keep switching... again if they had a dedicated machine the costs for calibation and the columns are immaterial....

If a lab was to have a dedicated machine then costs and turnaround needn't be high.... BUT right now there is no reason to do it because it puts companies at a competitive DISADVANTAGE to be honest... which would most people but the "gluten free" that doesn't say which test or the 2 ppm Gluten free ??? or pay more for guaranteed less than 1ppm???

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