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Gluten-Free Fast Food

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Trish Deitemyer

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You deserve a break today! You just might not be getting it at a fast food restaurant. Most fast food places are very slow in getting the gluten-free picture, while some are slowly coming around. Following is a list of some fast food joints and their allergen info. Feel free to contact the individual restaurants for more info, and to bug them about providing gluten free items.

Arby’s:
http://www.arbys.com/nutrition/printable.php?type=allergens
Arby’s is great about packaging the roast beef in a plastic container, rather than placing it on a bun. The curly fries have gluten, but the potato cakes seem to be gluten-free.

Burger King:
Very few gluten-free items.
http://www.bk.com/#menu=3,2,-1

Carls Jr.:
http://www.carlsjr.com/content/downloads/CarlsJr_AllergenChart_.pdf
There are a couple of things here:
The Six Dollar Lo Carb Burger
Regular & Chili Fries

In-N-Out:
Very gluten-free friendly… you can get any burger "Protein Style" or wrapped in lettuce instead of serving it on a bun. Protein Style is listed in their "Secret Menu" Also their French fries are made fresh from potatoes that were washed, peeled and cooked minutes before they are served to you.

Jack in the Box:
http://www.jackinthebox.com/nutrition/
Not much here.

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken):
http://www.kfc.com/nutrition/pdf/kfc_allergens_aug10.pdf
Not a whole lot here, either, although a few sides a gluten-free.


McDonald's:
McDonald’s offers Allergen info on their website:
http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutritionexchange/ingredientslist.pdf
There is very little there that is gluten-free—even their fries and hash browns contain wheat! The salads seem safe, just watch out for the dressings. Most of the ice cream products look safe, too. Always check before you dine, though.

Sonic:
http://www.sonicdrivein.com/pdfs/menu/Sonic_Allergen_Table_9-30-08.pdf
There are quite a few choices on this menu, like fries and tots; just order your burger bunless.

Subway:
http://www.subway.com/applications/NutritionInfo/Files/AllergenChart.pdf
According to the chart, the following salads are gluten-free:
Chicken & Bacon Ranch (includes cheese)
Cold Cut Combo
Ham (Black Forest)
Italian BMT®
Roast Beef
Roasted Chicken Breast
Tuna
Turkey Breast
Turkey Breast & Ham
Spicy Italian
Subway Club®
Subway Club®
Veggie Delite®

Taco Bell:
http://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/allergens
According to Taco Bell's Allergen chart only three things on the menu are gluten free.
Side of Rice
Side of Pinto Beans and Cheese
Tostada


Wendy's:
Wonderful Wendy’s has their own gluten-free list!
You deserve a break today! You just might not be getting it at a fast food restaurant. Most fast food places are very slow in getting the gluten-free picture, while some are slowly coming around. Following is a list of some fast food joints and their allergen info. Feel free to contact the individual restaurants for more info, and to bug them about providing gluten free items.

Arby’s:
http://www.arbys.com/nutrition/printable.php?type=allergens
Arby’s is great about packaging the roast beef in a plastic container, rather than placing it on a bun. The curly fries have gluten, but the potato cakes seem to be gluten-free.

Burger King:
Very few gluten-free items.
http://www.bk.com/#menu=3,2,-1

Carls Jr.:
http://www.carlsjr.com/content/downloads/CarlsJr_AllergenChart_.pdf
There are a couple of things here:
The Six Dollar Lo Carb Burger
Regular & Chili Fries

In-N-Out:
Very gluten-free friendly… you can get any burger "Protein Style" or wrapped in lettuce instead of serving it on a bun. Protein Style is listed in their "Secret Menu" Also their French fries are made fresh from potatoes that were washed, peeled and cooked minutes before they are served to you.

Jack in the Box:
http://www.jackinthebox.com/nutrition/
Not much here.

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken):
http://www.kfc.com/nutrition/pdf/kfc_allergens_aug10.pdf
Not a whole lot here, either, although a few sides a gluten-free.


McDonald's:
McDonald’s offers Allergen info on their website:
http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/nutritionexchange/ingredientslist.pdf
There is very little there that is gluten-free—even their fries and hash browns contain wheat! The salads seem safe, just watch out for the dressings. Most of the ice cream products look safe, too. Always check before you dine, though.

Sonic:
http://www.sonicdrivein.com/pdfs/menu/Sonic_Allergen_Table_9-30-08.pdf
There are quite a few choices on this menu, like fries and tots; just order your burger bunless.

Subway:
http://www.subway.com/applications/NutritionInfo/Files/AllergenChart.pdf
According to the chart, the following salads are gluten-free:
Chicken & Bacon Ranch (includes cheese)
Cold Cut Combo
Ham (Black Forest)
Italian BMT®
Roast Beef
Roasted Chicken Breast
Tuna
Turkey Breast
Turkey Breast & Ham
Spicy Italian
Subway Club®
Subway Club®
Veggie Delite®

Taco Bell:
http://www.tacobell.com/nutrition/allergens
According to Taco Bell's Allergen chart only three things on the menu are gluten free.
Side of Rice
Side of Pinto Beans and Cheese
Tostada


Wendy's:
Wonderful Wendy’s has their own gluten-free list!
http://www.wendys.com/food/pdf/us/gluten_free_list.pdf
All of their hamburgers can be ordered bunless. They serve croutons packaged on the side of their salads, so you don’t have to pick them out. The baked potatoes and chili are gluten free.

All of their hamburgers can be ordered bunless. They serve croutons packaged on the side of their salads, so you don’t have to pick them out. The baked potatoes and chili are gluten free.
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Actually Burger King fries are gluten-free. They use rice flour and have designated fryers. A highlight for my gluten-free kids.

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I eat at Wendy's fairly often, and I ask them to change to fresh gloves before handling my baked potato. I top it with the chili. One comment: Just picking out croutons from any salad is not acceptable for a Celiac or those gluten intolerant as my doctor says even a crumb matters.

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I recently spoke with Dr. Stefano Guandalini, Director of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago, who assures me that McDonald's french fries are gluten-free. He said he's researched the issue thoroughly with McDonald's.

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Two months ago saw an empty box of McD's fries in a parking lot with an ingredient list and was curious because I know this is such a debate. Wheat was listed right on the box.

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50% of the time, Taco Bell tostadas have given me problems, presumably from cross-contamination. Then again, how lazy am I that i'd buy and drive home with what become soggy broken tostadas instead of making them.

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The biggest problem with fast foods is handling. Burger king may or may not use separate fryers for fries depending on the location - I've seen them shared. And I'm told by Wendy's employees that the Chili usually has chopped up patties removed from buns (discarded or returned burgers) included in it - cross-contamination again, depending on the location.

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So how many Wendy's employees do you know? Their chili is pre-made and they don't throw old hamburgers in it...I've never heard that claim before and seriously doubt its validity. I've also not heard about Burger King not using dedicated fryers. If you are making broad claims about such things you need better facts to support them than what you are offering here.

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Honestly think about it. Okay McDonald's fries maybe gluten free but what about those nuggets they throw into the oil. It is all the same oil....same with Burger King and their onion rings........

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McDonald's uses dedicated french fry fryers...they always have. They only cook french fries in them. I believe the same is true for Burger king. Please stick to the facts when posting, this is how rumors get started, or old ones continue!

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McDonald's uses dedicated french fry fryers...they always have. They only cook french fries in them. I believe the same is true for Burger king. Please stick to the facts when posting, this is how rumors get started, or old ones continue!

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Unfortunately, I used to work at McDonald's and can verify that the fryers are not dedicated to french fries only. Especially at night, when the night shift is cleaning the oil/fryers they usually only use one or two fryers while they clean all the others.

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If they are actually cooked in a designated fryer, then why do I always end up with two or three onion rings when I order fries there?

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I used to work at Wendy's and we would put old burgers, although usually from the grill, that fell apart or got a little burned into the chili. I wouldn't doubt that some stores would go the length of putting returned ones in although I don't remember us doing that.

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I actually had some friends that worked at Wendy's near me and they said the same thing. They pride themselves on fresh burgers, so they can only be on the grill for so long. When they have passed the time allowed on the grill, they are then saved for the chili. I don't know about being removed from a bun though. My friends were warning me, "Don't eat the chili here because..."

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Most fast food restaurants do not have dedicated fryers. I have worked at several, and even if they say they are dedicated, most places do use the same fry baskets and oil, especially at night when cleaning. Also, most employees do not consider allergens and cross contaminate most all products at one point or another. if you want to be really sure you are gluten free, I suggest preparing your food yourself. In this day and age most people are quite inconsiderate to others and you cannot trust them to take your needs into consideration.

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They may use dedicated fryers, but their fries are NOT gluten free. Go to the ingredients list for fries on their website. It blatantly states: CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK *(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).

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You can get any burger at Carl's Jr. Protein style as well....They have a great online menu with allergy information and lots of options for those of us living Gluten-free. :o)

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I had only McDonald's fries for a snack and a cup of ice water. About 10 minutes later I felt like I had gluten. I was wiped out, nauseous, headache, dizziness.... I don't care what they say. Those fries have GLUTEN IN THEM. After having a small fry I knew. Please do not go around saying McDonald's fries don't have gluten in them because they do! It is not worth someone's health. I didn't start feeling better until the next day.

 

I come here for advice on what to eat but NOW I also follow up with the restaurants website and ingredient lists because I am too scared because of what happened with my experience last week at McDonald's :( Burger King fries do not affect me.

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I'm another former McDonalds employee who can testify that not all McDonalds restaurants use dedicated fry fryers. Maybe some do, and maybe all are supposed to, but we threw whatever in that oil; so there was definite cross contamination there.

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The Burger King in North Conway, NH does NOT use dedicated fryers. I worked there myself, and I also eat there on a regular basis (child is celiac, not me). While it is suggested policy that they use dedicated fryers, there are times when chicken/fish is placed into the "fry" baskets. They also cook their onion rings in the same fryer as the french fries.

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I worked at Wendy's, there chili is made fresh as needed. It does not come in made up, they do open a can of beans. As far as burgers taken off buns, that depends on the store. That would be a big liability on there part if they do, since they say there chili is gluten-free.

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Omg, don't be such a drama queen. Changing gloves? Seriously? I'd be more concerned about the spit on my baked potato rather than a touch of gluten. My daughter has celiac disease and she doesn't have any trouble after eating things that may have touched gluten items. You're not going to die from it. Eat at home if you're going to be so damn picky.

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The best fast food place to eat gluten free is Chick-Fil-A. I'm a former employee, their website has a gluten-free section, and I can attest to the fact that their fries are cooked completely separate from anything with gluten - the breaded chicken is cooked in a pressure cooker. You can also order their nuggets grilled instead of fried - they bread their chicken after they receive them from the warehouse (yes, their chicken is REAL - fresh chicken breasts and nuggets - in fact, all their food except for the fries are fresh - carrots shredded every day, same with cabbage in cole slaw - strawberries sliced daily - lettuce rinsed and chopped, lemons squeeze each morning for lemonade - real lemons, come in a huge case) and if you want them grilled, they get fresh nuggets out of the cooler and throw them on the grill that they use for their chargrilled chicken. Very tasty!

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