Thanks for the insight on the fry baskets! I never worked in a McD or big chain fast food restaurant, but I worked in our family restaurant. Our fryers were side by side less than an inch part. They had rails above the oil vat that the baskets could be hung on to drain. We generally kept the breaded items in one fryer and the non-breaded in the other one. The breaded items tend to burn easily and dis-color the oil. Plus they release flavors into the oil. The fries would be discolored if they were fried in that oil. So fries in that oil could come out tasting like onion rings or mushrooms. Interesting but a little weird. So the fries being separate was more for taste and saleability than anything. It is a practical thing really. Smaller restaurants with just one fryer wouldn't have a choice of course. That was 25 years ago and the restaurant wasn't aiming to be gluten-free. But it's easy to see how people could grab the fry basket and throw mushrooms in it or the onion ring basket and throw fries in it during busy times. Or just put the basket on the wrong fryer and the oil drip in the vat. I don't remember ever trying to keep fryer baskets separated by function. Our family restaurant closed years ago though, so no problem now. I imagine chain restaurants could have the same issues though.
We had an easy trick for freshening up the oil. We would throw a couple slices of white bread in the oil and fry it. That absorbed off flavors from the oil and kept the food tasting ok. And it worked for both the breaded fryer and the fries oil fryer. Neat trick. Kept us from having to filter the oil as often, which is a hot dangerous job. Of course we only had one filter unit so all the oil had to go through the same filter unit at the end of the day.
I haven't worked in a modern chain restaurant so I don't know how things are done in them.
Welcome to the board! I hope you like it here!
Great point about the filtering machine...I didn't even think about that. But as far as I know, that would be true anywhere. Fryer filters are expensive and I've never seen a restaurant with more than one. So I guess it's a question of how susceptible the fry oil really is to contamination by small amounts/fragments of breading. I know that where I work now, they do not recommend the fries for celiacs...they emphasize that while potatoes and fry oil are gluten free, they cannot guarantee that cross contamination won't happen. I can't say I have had adverse reactions to fast food fries, but then again as far as I know...I'm not celiac...I just know that I cut gluten out of my diet as an experiment because I suspected a gluten sensitivity and started feeling better without it. Ate some pasta and felt worse...
Thanks for the welcome! I hope to learn here and possibly even be able to provide some insight from time to time.