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Mc Donalds Ff

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:13 PM

This is a Celiac topic that refuses to die. LOL

I have researched the topic and even read the Applicable portions of the University of Nebraska's study on the gluten content of McDonald's fries. Here are their conclusions (I am paraphrasing)

1. Assuming the oil has not been cross-contaminated, the oil is gluten free

2. Assming the fries have not been compromised the fries are gluten free.

Now, having said that, the problems that can exist and need to be dealt with, at least as far as I can tell, are the following:

1. Has the oil been cross-contaminated? (i.e. did an employee drop a filet-o-fish in the oil on accident or because they were in a rush)

2. Have the fries been compromised (i.e. is their still gluten on the fries)

3. Is there enough wheat/gluten content in the fries to make someone react?

4. Does the manufacturing processes eliminate gluten below the BDL (below detectable levels)

5. Is there a chance that those who got sick from McD's fries did not actually get sick because of gluten, but perhaps because they ingested a ton of fried food when their normal diet (being gluten free) does not have fried food as a part of it.

To these questions, I offer my theories:

1. Mcdonalds, as of 15-20 years ago (maybe longer), recognized that their fries and hash browns do not taste the same when they fry them in the same oil as their McChickens, Filet O Fish, Apple Pies, ect. To remedy that problem, they developed dedicated fryers (I don't remeber the exact date) for their fries and hash browns. If you go into a McDonalds and watch them prepare the food, you will notice the first 3 fryers or so only have fries or hash browns going in them. These are the dedicated fryers. In some newer McDonalds, the fryers for the other items are actually in the back of the restaurant kitchen and they place those items (after they have been fried) in little "warmers" that have shelves that slide open - in those new ones, the fryers you see on the left side of the kitchen are almost always only for fries and hash browns. Also, in the new ones, the McChickens, Filet O Fish and Nuggets are completely separate from the fries (frying and serving). Many of the older ones still have the dedicated fryers, but one of the fryers (normally the farthers from the heat lamp fry the gluten containing food items) cooks the gluten containing food.

2. This is the question the University of Nebraska dealt with in their study (along with studying the oil). Their conclusion was the fries were gluten free. Not sure what else to say on this issue.

3. I suppose this could conceivably concern Celiacs as perhaps the manufacturing process failed to remove all of the gluten. However, this theory presupposes that the fry, at some point, contained gluten. My understanding is before the fry is coated with the beef product, the product does not contain gluten (at least below detectable levels).

4. This seems to be the one question no one knows the answer to. Thwe University of Nebraska report, at least the parts I read did not delve into specific of the manufacturing process. Perhaps McDonalds could provide insight into that. Regardless, I can tell you that some wheat derivatives and by products (sometimes starches) do not contain gluten. It is possible for something to contain wheat, but not gluten. They can be mutually exclusive.

5. I have stated this theory to many of my Celiac friends over the years. Celiacs are funny people. Because of our disease, we become so paranoid of food, that any slight disturbance or instance of diarrhea instantly causes us to believe we have been "glutened". It is possible that spicy foods, or mexican cuisine, or beans, or chili, or fried foods sometimes is unsettling to your stomach. This occurs to non-celiacs all the time. However, non-celicas dont instanty cry out "it was food poisoning" every time they feel sick to their stomach or have the big "D". Sometimes, your body doesnt like something. This is particularly true for me if I dont eat fried food for awhile and then try to ingest a Extra Biggie McDonalds fries. Bottom line - its not always gluten, soemtimes your tummy is just upset.

Anyway, sorry for the novel. I havent posted in awhile and thought I would grab my soapbox.


Hope I didn't bore anyone...too late...

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:13 PM

Very interesting link. Thank you for that.

best regards, lm

That link is 3 years old and NOT CURRENT. I contacted MCD'S and they state the fries are not gluten free.
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larry mac

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:16 PM

That link is 3 years old and NOT CURRENT. I contacted MCD'S and they state the fries are not gluten free.

Of course they're going to say that, they were sued. No company that sells a product having wheat as an ingredient is going to claim it's gluten-free. Even if theoretically it doesn't contain gluten. Have there been changes to the product in the last three years?

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

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