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'dedicated' Fast Food Fryers


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#1 StacyA

 
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Posted 30 March 2010 - 05:06 PM

For the record - I'm not a paranoid person (well, maybe now I am...)

I went to a Wendy's today and asked the girl at the register if the french fries are cooked in a fryer that only cooks french fries.

At first she said yes, then she paused and said: 'Well, we're not SUPPOSED to put anything else in those two fryers except french fries, but sometimes we cook other things in there...' And she shrugged sheepishly.

So I explained that if anything that's breaded has been in the fryer, then I really shouldn't eat the fries.

It wasn't busy, so the drive thru guy who was listening in pipes up: 'Oh, then don't order fries! In fact, I won't let you!'

Two men who looked like an assistant manager and manager were also listening in, but they didn't say anything.

If a different person had been at the register, would that person have told me the fries were safe? Their official protocol at that Wendy's is that the french fryers are dedicated - but in practice, and probably depending on the shift and personnel, they aren't dedicated according to two people on duty today. (I was there at 3pm - not usually the shift when the renegade rule-breakers work.)

Like I said, I'm not a paranoid person, but now I'm sad because I think I'm going to become paranoid about 'dedicated' fryers...

Back in high school I worked at a Burger King, and we had fryers at different temperatures with different oil for fries and breaded items, and still there would be employees who would cook the wrong thing in the wrong fryer if they were in a pinch.
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#2 psawyer

 
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Posted 30 March 2010 - 06:42 PM

This is a popular topic here.

At any restaurant there is always a risk of cross-contamination. Fast food places may be a higher risk. At McDonalds, the fryers are physically separated and operated by different staff. The fries and hash browns are fried in dedicated fryers at the front of the store by the window crew. Everything else is fried in the back of the store by the grill crew.
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Peter
Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000.
Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986
Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

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#3 lovegrov

 
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Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:37 AM

Also, at one Wendy's (haven't noticed at others, I saw workers putting a fried something else (can't remember what) in a rack right above the french fryers, I guess to keep warm. Strong chance of crumbs falling in. I've eaten Wendy's fries in the past and have never had suspected a reaction to them, but they're off my list now.

richard
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#4 buffettbride

 
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Posted 01 April 2010 - 11:02 AM

We stick to the chili, baked potatoes, and frosty's at Wendy's. I've seen most Wendy's put chix nuggets right next to the fries to keep them warm.
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#5 Gemini

 
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Posted 01 April 2010 - 11:16 AM

For the record - I'm not a paranoid person (well, maybe now I am...)

I went to a Wendy's today and asked the girl at the register if the french fries are cooked in a fryer that only cooks french fries.

At first she said yes, then she paused and said: 'Well, we're not SUPPOSED to put anything else in those two fryers except french fries, but sometimes we cook other things in there...' And she shrugged sheepishly.

So I explained that if anything that's breaded has been in the fryer, then I really shouldn't eat the fries.

It wasn't busy, so the drive thru guy who was listening in pipes up: 'Oh, then don't order fries! In fact, I won't let you!'

Two men who looked like an assistant manager and manager were also listening in, but they didn't say anything.

If a different person had been at the register, would that person have told me the fries were safe? Their official protocol at that Wendy's is that the french fryers are dedicated - but in practice, and probably depending on the shift and personnel, they aren't dedicated according to two people on duty today. (I was there at 3pm - not usually the shift when the renegade rule-breakers work.)

Like I said, I'm not a paranoid person, but now I'm sad because I think I'm going to become paranoid about 'dedicated' fryers...

Back in high school I worked at a Burger King, and we had fryers at different temperatures with different oil for fries and breaded items, and still there would be employees who would cook the wrong thing in the wrong fryer if they were in a pinch.



I would never eat at a fast food joint, period, because this is what I would expect to happen. If you go to a better quality restaurant where the staff has had some food education, this is highly unlikely to happen.

I frequent a couple of restaurants near to me, not chains or fast food places, and they have dedicated fryers. What I like is they have dedicated french fry fryers and everyone gets the gluten-free version. I'm sure if they were advertised as being gluten-free fries, people would freak out and not want to order them....you know how that goes. :D
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#6 Heidi S.

 
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Posted 01 April 2010 - 01:21 PM

The only french fries I will eat out is Red Robin who have a gluten free menu and a dedicated fryer, Chick-fil-a who have dedicated fryers and every manager guarantees that the chicken is not mixed with the fries. Other than that is not worth the chance when you can make Ore-Ida and Alexi's at home!

I do not eat any fast food french fries of the main brands Wendys, BK, MCDonald's etc..
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#7 StephanieGF

 
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Posted 02 April 2010 - 01:06 PM

I agree, you have to have a restaurant that understands gluten issues and has trained it's staff about the dedicated fryer. I remember way back in high school we would fry all sorts of weird food things in the fryer, never thinking about CC. Could not be further from a 16 year-old's mind. Also, I remember in a Mexican restaurant the staff normally fried the corn chips in one fryer, but after a shift they would fry the flour tortillas to make flour chips.
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#8 Sick Boy

 
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Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:31 PM

I wouldn't eat at fast food just because remembering back to high school. We fried everything from whole cheese burgers to salt and pepper shakers (that didn't come out so well) B)
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#9 passionfruit877

 
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Posted 02 April 2010 - 07:13 PM

Chick-fil-a has dedicated friers, although I would ask. If someone wants to eat out while we are shopping or something, I stop there and get some fries.
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#10 joey1011

 
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Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:08 PM

Chick-fil-a has dedicated friers, although I would ask. If someone wants to eat out while we are shopping or something, I stop there and get some fries.



So we can eat Chik-Fil-A waffle fries? I miss those.
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#11 kareng

 
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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:01 PM

So we can eat Chik-Fil-A waffle fries? I miss those.


Check the Chick fil a web site. The I would check with the manager at the one you go to just to be certain.
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#12 larry mac

 
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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:40 PM

I can only speak about my Mcdonalds (inside our Walmart). These versions are smaller and have a more limited menu. You can clearly see the entire kitchen and what everyone is doing.

Peter is correct. The fries station is right at the front. It is operated by the counter personel, not the "cooks". The counter people take your order, cook the fries, make the drinks & deserts, put the (already wrapped)food in bags, and give it to you. They do not cook burgers, chicken, biscuits, or anything else but fries.

My son worked there in high school. They have a very well trained staff, and run that place by the book. The book is very specific concerning how the store is operated.

I'm not concerned in the least about the dedicated fryers at my Mcdonalds. And no, I don't believe the fries contain gluten either.

best regards, lm
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#13 Korwyn

 
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Posted 04 May 2010 - 01:55 AM

I trust no fryers after a couple incidents involving a 'dedicated' fryer. In fact now unless I know it is a place that is specifically celiac or gluten-free aware and trained I don't generally eat out. Which is frustrating.
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Undiagnosed for 20 years since first symptoms.
March 2009 - Negative Blood work
April 24, 2009 - Gluten-free
April 29, 2009 - Notably positive response to gluten-free Diet.
May 2, 2009 Dairy Free
May 6, 2009, Soy Free
May 27, 2009 Enterolab Results: Positive Anti-gliadin IgA, tTG IgA, Casein, HLA DQ2.2, HLA DQ8
June 4, 2009 Refined sugar free (except Raw Honey, pure Maple syrup)
June 29, 2009, Dad diagnosed Celiac by GI specialist via blood work and dietary response.
July 2009, Dad's gene test: double DQ8! Thanks Dad - I'll try to get you something nice for Christmas! :)
August 8, 2009 Really Soy free this time - Thanks Blue Diamond for the soy lecithin in the almond milk! :(

#14 RollingAlong

 
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Posted 07 May 2010 - 02:29 PM

5Fast food - 5 guys - they only thing on their menu - french fries.

I've been told that the fryer is not necessarily dedicated at nice restaurants too - Cantina Laredo - which lists tortilla chips on the gluten free menu. But the wait staff told me that they might throw in a wheat chip every so often. I've written Cantina Laredo, but no response.
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#15 eva-girl

 
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 05:33 PM

i am really shocked at how many celiacs eat fast food - y'all are braver than i am! i wouldn't eat at any fast food restaurant, ever - i just shudder at their menus with all the grease, fat and salt. plus, their kitchens are usually a disaster area. i really do not want 16 year olds who barely make minimum wage and have probably only worked there for about 2 days and don't know enough to wash their hands after using the bathroom touching my food, never mind trying to wrap their head around the concept of "gluten free."
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