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pixiegirl

Mcdonald's French Fries Not Safe?

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David, Thank you so much for writing an excellent article. I think that the others have said it perfectly -- thank you for getting a definitive answer. I think our biggest upset was that we were given so many different answers about the same product. Karen is right -- you rock!! :lol::lol:

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David,

Coming from a girl who originally thought the fries were safe, then kept getting sick from them, and have since banished them about 6 months ago, THANK YOU for sharing this info with others. Can you please let us know if this story gets picked up?

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David, thank you! I was diagnosed with celiac a couple of months ago, and am still trying to find my way through a seeming mine-field of wheat in processed foods. I am one of the "super-sensitive" who gets sick from only a trace amt of gluten. I consider that to be my good fortune since physical damage is done regardless of the degree of the reaction. The reactions certainly keep me honest to the diet my body requires.

A heartfelt thank you for your work in bringing this disease into greater public view.

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For those of us in Canada, I have done some investigation and have learned that all of the food (fries included) served at McDonalds in Canada is made in Canada. This does not necessarily apply to brand name items served with the food such as salad dressing or ketchup.

I examined a package, albeit somewhat old, of Mac Fries delivered to a McDonalds franchise in Markham, ON. The label on the carton says, "Ingredients: Potatoes, beef tallow, vegetable oil, and may contain dextrose and sodium acid pyrophosphate" (this is the raw product shipped to the store before cooking). The manufacturer is Midwest Food Products Inc in Carberry, Manitoba R0K 0H0.

An ingredient list picked up at a corporate McDonalds in Markham on Friday (dated February 2005) says: "Potatoes, a blend of partially hydrogenated fat and oil (beef fat and cottonseed oil), may contain dextrose and sodium acid pyrophosphate cooked in an A/V shortening mix." Although not identical to the list above, the differences are within Canadian labelling rules, that is, both can describe the same product using slightly different wording.

The "A/V shortening mix" is described in the Feb 2005 McDonalds list as, "Beef fat and cottonseed oil, monoglyceride citrate, proply gallate, propylene glycol."

I see nothing in any of this to suggest a gluten source. If McDonalds' US supplier of fries has disclosed a gluten source, I do not necessarily assume that their Canadian supplier has the same problem.

Some people have said that they have had an adverse reaction to McFries. I do not doubt that. It could be cross contamination. It could also be that there is something else in the food that causes a reaction. As celiacs, we sometimes assume that whenever we get sick, gluten must be the cause. But this is not always the case. I react to crustaceans in a manner similar to how I react to gluten. If I eat shrimp and get violently ill, does that prove that shrimp contains gluten? No.

In the US, there is a claim that although some of the flavor has a wheat source, the gluten has been removed. No scientific proof has been offered to support or refute this.

I have been around long enough to remember when everybody "knew" that whisky was unsafe for celiacs because of gluten from the original grain. Today, it is generally accepted that gluten does not survive the process of distillation. Nevertheless, some of us have an adverse reaction to grain alcohol. I also recall when vinegar was deemed unsafe, but now it is generally accepted as gluten free. All the same, some of us have bad reactions to vinegar whatever the origin, or to grain alcohol. Just because you have an adverse reaction to something does not mean that the cause is gluten. I believe that there are some grain components that pass into the distillate and cause problems for some of us. But I don't believe that gluten does.

You will have to make your own decision about whether you will eat the fries.

As an aside, regarding cross-contamination: the fryer where the french fries and hash browns are prepared in a standard McDonalds layout is at the front of the store, and is staffed by the same crew members who draw the beverages and assemble the orders. It is designed so that the preparer never touches the food, but only handles the fry baskets and the tongs. The gluten-containing fried goods, such as the Filet-O-Fish and McNuggets, are prepared in the back by the grill crew in a different fryer. While no guarantee can be made, the chance of a breaded item being accidentally dropped into the potato fryer is quite remote.

I do not own shares in McDonalds. I do not work for McDonalds. My wife once worked at a McDonalds franchise and she did help me with some of the information in this post. I have presented the information I can find as objectively as possible.

I will now put on my fire-retardant outfit and hide in the nearest foxhole since I know that there will be some people who will be telling me that I am full of **** and that I am a puppet for McDonalds. It's hard to reason against emotion, so I won't try. These are just the facts as I have been able to learn them,

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I will now put on my fire-retardant outfit and hide in the nearest foxhole since I know that there will be some people who will be telling me that I am full of **** and that I am a puppet for McDonalds. It's hard to reason against emotion, so I won't try. These are just the facts as I have been able to learn them,

How true is this!!?? Thank you for your post!!

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Some people have said that they have had an adverse reaction to McFries. I do not doubt that. It could be cross contamination. It could also be that there is something else in the food that causes a reaction. As celiacs, we sometimes assume that whenever we get sick, gluten must be the cause. But this is not always the case. I react to crustaceans in a manner similar to how I react to gluten. If I eat shrimp and get violently ill, does that prove that shrimp contains gluten? No.

In the US, there is a claim that although some of the flavor has a wheat source, the gluten has been removed. No scientific proof has been offered to support or refute this.

I have been around long enough to remember when everybody "knew" that whisky was unsafe for celiacs because of gluten from the original grain. Today, it is generally accepted that gluten does not survive the process of distillation. Nevertheless, some of us have an adverse reaction to grain alcohol. I also recall when vinegar was deemed unsafe, but now it is generally accepted as gluten free. All the same, some of us have bad reactions to vinegar whatever the origin, or to grain alcohol. Just because you have an adverse reaction to something does not mean that the cause is gluten. I believe that there are some grain components that pass into the distillate and cause problems for some of us. But I don't believe that gluten does.

You will have to make your own decision about whether you will eat the fries.

First you state "haveing a reaction does not prove their is gluten in the fries" Sure, but McDondals statee there si gluten, thats not the issue, and if you state that it only fair to state "not having a reaction does not prove the fries are gluten free".

Then you go on to say "Somethings we use to think were not safe, are considered safe today" Fell fine and dandy, the reverse is true also, but niether has anything to do with the fries. Just be cause some non related item is safe, or not safe, it does not prove anything about the McFreis.

The way I see it is ismply this, McDondals now states there is gltuen in the fries, but they appear to beleive the QUANTIY of gluten is low enough not to matter.

That is the facts as presented by McDondals, so if you are to make your decsion on wheather or not to eat thier freis, you need to keep that in mind.

The question of "do the fires contian gluten" has been cleared up by McDondals own statement, they do. The question of "are they safe to eat" depends on your personal decsion on belief that the gluten quantily is low enough (and your trust of them since they give no hard numbers of any kind I guess).

As for the Candian fries, I do not have any info to comment on them, but if I am ever up there I would likly aviod them just as I aviod the US fries.

I hope I was able to communicate that with out sounding like I was atacking anyone, I just want to make sure everyone has all the facts before they decide to eat the fries.

As for me and my family, we will not knownling eat gluten. CC is always a risk, but is an entirely different issue then the fries inthis case.

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I presented the facts as I could best determine them.

A reaction does not prove gluten.

The lack of a reaction does not prove absence of gluten.

The purported source of gluten in McDonalds fries in the US is not, at least in my view, completely resolved. I still have questions. You have made up your mind and I will not try to change it.

We disagree on this. I do not have a problem, since there are many things that I disagree with some of my closest friends about. Vincent, my friend, I am not trying to make you eat the fries. I'm not sure I will ever eat them again myself. But I do hope that this will not become a source of friction between us. We both have a deep personal interest in celiac disease. We won't agree on everything. But we have the same purpose in mind.

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The purported source of gluten in McDonalds fries in the US is not, at least in my view, completely resolved. I still have questions. You have made up your mind and I will not try to change it.

I do not understand your view on this. McDondals has stated that there is gluten in their fires in an offical interview with the the WSJ. This it not "chance of" or "might be", or other CYA statement, thier representive said the fries defintly have gluten in them. The only question they leave up is wether or not there is enough to cause a reaction.

The question is left up on wether or not US and Canada fries are the same, and that I can not speak to.

We disagree on this. I do not have a problem, since there are many things that I disagree with some of my closest friends about. Vincent, my friend, I am not trying to make you eat the fries. I'm not sure I will ever eat them again myself. But I do hope that this will not become a source of friction between us. We both have a deep personal interest in celiac disease. We won't agree on everything. But we have the same purpose in mind.

If we agreed on everything, I would likly not have any respect for you, because I know I am not always right! :D The only ting that could cause friction is poor choice of wording, and/or poor interpretation of wording. :D

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As reported by David Hamilton of the WSJ:

Cathy Kapica, McDonald's director of global nutrition, said the company's fries include a "natural flavoring" made, in part, from extracts of wheat and dairy products. Kapica said those extracts are processed in ways designed to remove wheat and dairy proteins, which are the substances generally responsible for triggering allergies or food-sensitivity problems.

It does not say "remove some of" or anything wiggly. It says "remove" without qualification.

As I said, no scientific proof has been offered to prove or refute this statement.

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As reported by David Hamilton of the WSJ:

It does not say "remove some of" or anything wiggly. It says "remove" without qualification.

As I said, no scientific proof has been offered to prove or refute this statement.

You right, that quote does sate no gluten, unless you add this quote from her latter in the same article.

Under McDonald's interpretation of the FDA rules, Kapica said, the company

decided to note the presence of the wheat and dairy ingredients used to flavor

its fries. "If someone is really sensitive, they need to be aware that this

product was at one point derived from wheat and dairy," Kapica said.

On the other hand, anyone who has eaten the fries without incident "can

continue to do so," Kapica said. "The whole reason the FDA changed the

regulations was to err on the side of caution."

The only way you could react , reguardless of senseitivy levels, is if there was gluten present. Since she states some ppl could react, that is the same as saying there is gluten in there.

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That was the reason for my reference to whisky in my post. Some celiacs react to something in the distallate, even though science tells us that the gluten molecule is much too large to be pass into the distillate. There is something there that some people react to. It does not have to be gluten. Many celiacs have other sensitivities besides gluten.

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That was the reason for my reference to whisky in my post. Some celiacs react to something in the distallate, even though science tells us that the gluten molecule is much too large to be pass into the distillate. There is something there that some people react to. It does not have to be gluten. Many celiacs have other sensitivities besides gluten.

Yes, ppl could react to other things in the fries, that is not the issue here. Her comment was specificly talking about wheat and dairy only. And when specificly addressing wheat and dariy, she said ppl could react meaning there must be wheat and dairy in the final product. I hate to belabor this point, but it seems so odvious to me that she has out right stated there is gluten (and dairy) in the fries, I guess I am some how blinding my self to what your seeing? Contray to how it might sound, I am struly trying to understand where you are getting your interpretation in this. :)

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Your line of reasoning is based on the assumption that if someone with celiac disease reacts to something, then that something must contain gluten. That is not a valid assumption.

Rye whisky starts life as the grain rye. After fermentation and distillation, the final product does not contain gluten, however some celiacs still react to it. Obviously, some elements of the rye do remain, or there would be no difference in the flavor of rye, bourbon and scotch. Something in those traces causes the reaction in some people. That does not make it gluten.

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Your line of reasoning is based on the assumption that if someone with celiac disease reacts to something, then that something must contain gluten. That is not a valid assumption.

If I was assuming such, I would agree with you that it was invalid, but I am not. I am instead taking her words at face value, she refers to wheat and dairy, and says that if you are the kind of person that reacts to wheat and dairy, you may react to our fries. (my pharaphrase :D)

I think the problem here is your assuming that her statement is much broader then I am. To me she is specificly referencing wheat and dairy, and nothing else at all. To me, sounds like you think she is talkiing in general. If so, then our view points can never meet, as we are reading the same "data" and infering different results.

The only way I cna see your (or what I think is your) point of view is if what ever causes a wheat ALLERGY survies the proccess and not the gluten, some how I doubt that is the case since apeartently lastose/casin also survies the process.

With a lack of hard data, and only press statements form McDonalds we can not, in my opinion, assume anything other they what they speficly state, which in my reading is there is gluten in the fries.

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Everything Peter just said is true.

I also worked at McDonalds (in Canada) for 3 years.

There is no gluten in their fries. On my trips to visit my parents, I always stop and get some fries. Ido not eat the ones in the US cause they make me ill.

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Everything Peter just said is true.

I also worked at McDonalds (in Canada) for 3 years.

There is no gluten in their fries. On my trips to visit my parents, I always stop and get some fries. Ido not eat the ones in the US cause they make me ill.

The US fires make you ill but the Canada ones do not? While response does not prove anything as Peter points out thats still pontential good news fpr the Canadain Celiacs , and more confirmation that US fries do as McDondals states have gluten in them.

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Guest nini

David! Thank you again for writing that article! It's awesome and I see that it was picked up and is EVERYWHERE!!!! Even my local Atlanta station picked it up! You are awesome for getting the word out!

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David! Thank you again for writing that article! It's awesome and I see that it was picked up and is EVERYWHERE!!!! Even my local Atlanta station picked it up! You are awesome for getting the word out!

I see that this is a really old post, and I wish I had found it BEFORE Saturday when I let my son have some McD's fries. He was sick from Sunday night until now - he is still not ok yet.

I feel really bad that I didnt read the ingredients first. :huh::angry:

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If your son is sick from the fries it's from the CC of eating at a fast-food place, not from the oil. The oil has tested out gluten-free. Many people with celiac still eat the fries.

richard

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