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Are Fries At Mcdonalds In The Us Gluten Free?
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Hello,

Are the fries at McDonalds in the U.S. gluten free? We will be visting there later in the year and whilst we are not particularly interested in going to McDonalds I would like to know whether the fries are gluten free or not. Here in Australia the fries at McDonalds are gluten free as are the hash browns and various sundaes, shakes etc. I have heard that the fries in the US are not gluten free. I have also heard that they weren't in the past but now they are. Can someone please clarify so that we know to avoid them if we do happen to visit a McDonalds (which I hope won't be necessary but you never know!).

THANKS :)

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Anything fried in a shared fryer would not be gluten free.

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At a standard McDonald's in the USA (and in Canada) the fries are prepared in dedicated fryers at the front of the store by the window crew. At breakfast, those fryers are used for the hash browns. Everything else--EVERYTHING else--is fried in the back by the grill crew. Different location, different crew, different fryers.

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There is quite a story around McDonald's. When the US government made allergen labeling mandatory, McDonald's had to disclose that the beef flavor they use very early in processing contains a little bit of hydrolyzed wheat protein (it's a source of MSG). There was a big stink because McDonald's had been marketing them as safe for people with celiac disease. The fries were independently tested for gluten and it turns out that no detectable gluten makes it through to the finished product.

McDonald's fries are actually safer than most fast-food fries becasue of the dedicated fryer station at the front of the store that's only ever used for fries and hash browns. I eat them without trouble, as do a lot of people on the board.

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Exactly like Peter and Skylark said . . .

. . . my daughter eats them without any issues.

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Thanks everyone! :) That has clarified the situation for me.

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When I was considering McDonald's fries I read about this issue. I read that while there may be dedicated fryers and gluten free fries, at the end of a shift, all of the oil is strained to filter out food particles and then combined in a large vat to store until it is re-used to fill the fryers the next day. That would make the fries contaminated. I do not know if this is a current practice or if it ever was and I have never questioned them about their specific practices at McDonald's. I just decided it was easier to make my own fries after reading about this issue. Does anyone know if this is really what they do with the oil?? I'm mentioning it just in case it happens to be true. Wouldn't want your vacation ruined over some darned french fries. :)

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I am now reaching beyond what I know as fact. McDonald's are really anal about keeping the oil for the fries free of contamination. The fries are a signature product, and they do not want anything to taint the flavor of the fries. I can see potato fryer oil being recycled into the rear fryers, but not the other way around. If anyone has proof that this is not true, please post your evidence.

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I found this, which supports Peter's post about their care with CC. This is from the UK McDonald's but it probably applies to US. I do remember the french fry fryer being filtered first and the fish fryer last when I worked at McDonald's so many years ago.

http://www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk/questions/how-do-you-make/filet-o-fish/#question6

"McDonald's does not regard the Filet-o-Fish as suitable for vegetarians because the company classifies fish as meat. The company considers it a personal choice as to whether a vegetarian chooses to eat fish. With regards to the frying process, each product is prepared in separate fryers. However, when it comes to filtering the oil, McDonald's has two different filtering processes. One process is self-filtering, where oil is not mixed from one fryer to another. The second filtering process uses the same unit across all fryers, but the fryers are filtered in a specific order. So the French Fries fryer is filtered first, followed by the Veggie Deluxe fryer, the Apple Pies fryer, the chicken fryer and then the Filet-o-Fish fryer. The machine is thoroughly cleaned after every filtering session and the Vegetarian Society has approved this method for keeping oil used to cook the fries separate from any meat content. Unfortunately the company does not maintain a central record of the processes used in each restaurant, so if this is an issue for you, the best course of action is to check at the restaurant you visit to find out which method is used before ordering your meal. "

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I was under the impression (having read McDonald's nutrition/ingredients information online) that the fries were not gluten free due to some beef flavoring they put on the fries that has wheat in it. Can anyone else verify?

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There is a wheat-derived ingredient in the beef flavor. A small amount of the flavoring is added to the oil in which the fries are partially fried prior to being frozen. A small amount of oil is absorbed. The frying process is completed at the store. The oil used at that stage is pure vegetable oil.

The finished product has been independently tested and found to contain no detectable gluten. Many of us eat McDonald's fries without any problems.

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I was under the impression (having read McDonald's nutrition/ingredients information online) that the fries were not gluten free due to some beef flavoring they put on the fries that has wheat in it. Can anyone else verify?

Read the previous posts on this thread & you will get your info.

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