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ryebaby0

Mcd Fries 2: The Phone Calls :)

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I thought maybe we should separate the discussion from the advocacy issues, in the interest of brevity. So if you've called the company, maybe we can compare notes.

I called this morning (1-800-244-6227) and asked

*were the fries gluten-free or not? NOT

*were they always unsafe? "the formula has not changed"

*why the change? The new labelling laws require it, and their oil supplier says the beef flavoring in the oil contains wheat and milk ingredients

*so it was always contaminated and you didn't tell us? "the oil supplier tells McDs that the wheat proteins have been removed"

*can you tell me how? Um, no

*can you give me the supplier's name ? let me check....no, that's not in our database?

*you don't know their name? or you won't tell me? "that information isn't available to the public"

*But I'm supposed to believe the fries are unchanged? "we apologize for any inconvenience"

And then I gave the nice man a talk about "so the company is prepared to hedge about the safety of this, but won't give me the information to find out myself? Do you realize that it only takes a microscopic amount of gluten to make a celiac ill? Do you think that if every celiac had an anaphylactic reaction in your restaurants you would be so reluctant to be helpful? Do you understand that my children can't eat in your stores, and neither can I or the rest of my friends and family? DO you understand this isn't about inconvenience"

All said, of course, in a very nice tone of voice. Nobody gets anything by yelling at the poor minimum wage guy on the phone....

joanna

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So let me get this straight - the fries were never okay for us Celiacs to eat???????

I thought maybe we should separate the discussion from the advocacy issues, in the interest of brevity. So if you've called the company, maybe we can compare notes.

I called this morning (1-800-244-6227) and asked

*were the fries gluten-free or not? NOT

*were they always unsafe? "the formula has not changed"

*why the change? The new labelling laws require it, and their oil supplier says the beef flavoring in the oil contains wheat and milk ingredients

*so it was always contaminated and you didn't tell us? "the oil supplier tells McDs that the wheat proteins have been removed"

*can you tell me how? Um, no

*can you give me the supplier's name ? let me check....no, that's not in our database?

*you don't know their name? or you won't tell me? "that information isn't available to the public"

*But I'm supposed to believe the fries are unchanged? "we apologize for any inconvenience"

And then I gave the nice man a talk about "so the company is prepared to hedge about the safety of this, but won't give me the information to find out myself? Do you realize that it only takes a microscopic amount of gluten to make a celiac ill? Do you think that if every celiac had an anaphylactic reaction in your restaurants you would be so reluctant to be helpful? Do you understand that my children can't eat in your stores, and neither can I or the rest of my friends and family? DO you understand this isn't about inconvenience"

All said, of course, in a very nice tone of voice. Nobody gets anything by yelling at the poor minimum wage guy on the phone....

joanna

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So let me get this straight - the fries were never okay for us Celiacs to eat???????

Correct. McDonalds states they have always had gluten in them, but they perosnly feel it was removed in processing. They however are silent on the how that could happen or work. The new labling laws force them to disclose this, and no longer list them as gluten free.

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Guest nini

I spoke with Micheal yesterday 1-877-MCD-FOOD

I was told that the ingredients have not changed but the supplier was forced to disclose the source of the ingredients because of the new law that went into effect Jan 1st. He claims that they are still gluten free because of the par frying process (How the heck is that supposed to work?). But that they are now required by law to list the source ingredients. I asked if McD's tests for the presence of gluten and he said "um yes?!" but I couldn't get a straight answer as to HOW. I can't remember the entire gist of the conversation, but when I said that I no longer feel safe eating their fries, he said "that's your choice"...

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Correct. McDonalds states they have always had gluten in them, but they perosnly feel it was removed in processing. They however are silent on the how that could happen or work. The new labling laws force them to disclose this, and no longer list them as gluten free.

Technically, that is incorrect.

The new labeling laws do not require them to list them as no longer gluten free.

Gluten free has not been defined by the FDA.

Hence, I could fill a box full of flour and label it as gluten free and sell it...

They DO HAVE to say if there is wheat in it though....

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Restaurants don't have to list ingredients at all. The FDA laws only apply to ingredients in processed foods you buy in stores.

So they really probably haven't broken any actual laws. However, they'd still be subject to things like negligence and harm and false advertising caused under civil law. But I'm no lawyer.

What about food prepared in restaurants? How will I know that the food I ordered does not contain an ingredient to which I am allergic?

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/alrgqa.html#q26

FALCPA only applies to packaged FDA-regulated foods. However, FDA advises consumers who are allergic to particular foods to ask questions about ingredients and preparation when eating at restaurants or any place outside the consumer's home.

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I have taken alot of my daily life reading about french fries. I am not better informed and sorry to say I will be cooking my fries at home. I don't think that I have ever reacted to them, but yet, I am still trying to see what I have been reacting too. So that matter has an opened end to me.

I just wanted to point out, that with the new labeling law, McD's may be the first, but it will not be the last. I think we should save our huffs and blows until the whole thing plays out. There is more comming, I can assure you.

Let's take some time, digest it all and react where it is needed. Times are changing quickly. Arm chair a little, watch and listen.....then we can pull out the power of the people.

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Let's take some time, digest it all and react where it is needed. Times are changing quickly. Arm chair a little, watch and listen.....then we can pull out the power of the people.

I'm with you on this one. This is pretty much how I'm taking it. Nobody really knows whats going on yet so I'm just gonna chill for now. I cant eat the fries anyway so I'm not missing out right now. Who knows maybe the fries dont really have any gluten in them...as McDonalds claims. I'm sure they can be tested to solve this matter once and for all. Maybe they'll have to do just that.

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Who knows maybe the fries dont really have any gluten in them...as McDonalds claims.

I do not agree, everywhere on thier website now, and the printable PDF's all say they ahve gluten in them now.

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From the listserv, though:

Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 10:43:50 -0500

From: "Thorn, Michael" <mthorn@BNL.GOV>

Subject: McD info from an expert in the field

MIME-Version: 1.0

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<<Disclaimer: Verify this information before applying it to your situation.>>

Whenever controversies or issues like the one about McD's comes up I try to consult the experts for solid information.

I emailed Cynthia Kupper who is a registered dietitian, executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group and has worked with Outback (along with other companies) to develop gluten-free menus.

quote-----

----Original Message-----

This is a case of McDonalds following the letter of the law, but without the

FDA having the exceptions in place - it is causing confusion. This is a

perfectly safe ingredient. People should not be blasting McD for doing what

they are told they have to do, but instead forcing the issue of the pan fry

to file an exemption for their product. (notice that thus far the FDA has

not made a ruling on any exemptions filed...that doesn't help)

Or of course the pan fry company could certify their product. This would

mean they are regularly testing the product to show it's purity.

The law is good, but the cart was put before the horse.

Cynthia Kupper, RD, celiac disease

Executive Director

Gluten Intolerance Group of NA

15110 10 Ave SW, Ste A

Seattle WA 98166-1820

206-246-6652; F: 206-246-6531

*Support summarization of posts, reply to the SENDER not the CELIAC List*

Archives are at: Http://Listserv.icors.org/SCRIPTS/WA-ICORS.EXE?LIST=CELIAC

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Let me get thsi straight, some person I never heard of is saying "pan fry" removes gluten from wheat? Well heck lets pan fry up some whole wheat bread then!

Realy need some good soilid information on this befor we can trust random comments like that.

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I spoke with a guy at McD's customer service named Ron on Tuesday. He said they had just gotten an internal memo. The oil used contained traces of wheat and dairy but the 'processing' removed these proteins from the oil. He said that nothing has changed and it has always been like this and the new laws required them to list the wheat and dairy. But, he said the items were safe. I think that was it - I left my notes at work and won't be back until Monday (got some stuff I have to take care of at school). So, hope that helps. In all though, seems pretty similar to what others heard.

Oops, one more thing....I was too suprised by his admission to the wheat, so I forgot to ask how they test these items to know they are gluten free, etc., etc., but as someone already pointed out, the defintion and testing of gluten free alone could bring up an entirely new 300 + posts thread since those items are still debated.

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Let me get thsi straight, some person I never heard of is saying "pan fry" removes gluten from wheat? Well heck lets pan fry up some whole wheat bread then!

Realy need some good soilid information on this befor we can trust random comments like that.

Cynthia Kupper is the Executive Director of GIG NA http://www.gluten.net/

I don't pretend to understand the technicalities of what she's saying. I do put cautious faith in what she says, however. I like what a few others on this board are saying. There's time to watch and listen and then to make a decision on how I want to approach the McD FF issue. For me, a knee-jerk reaction rarely works in my favor. Let's take time to gather the exact facts. For all we know, the wheat that is being listed is only an infinitely small number (<20) in the ppm. Am I willing to run out and order fries? Nope. Am I certain McD's needs to be par-fried in their own vats? Nope.

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I also posted Cynthia Kupper's reply on a separate thread. For those of you who don't know, she's the person who was responsible for getting Outback to go through their menu and mark the gluten-free items. She knows more about gluten and ingredients than anybody here, and certainly more than McD knows. If you don't trust her, then there's porbably nobody you'll listen to.

richard

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Well, I still want ot know how this magic "panfry" she mentions removes gluten? If all we have to do is "panfry" our food to be say, then that changes just about all comon knowledge and reseached wisdom that says you can not cook out gluten. When a fact is in direct opistion to current knowledge it shoudl not be tursted with out resaonable evidence that all current knowledge is wrong.

Other wise, you should pan fry up some wholewheat bread and have a sandwhich.

SHE MIGHT BE RIGHT, but its foolish to blindly believe it at this stage. Caution is STRONGLY urged here.

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The basic question for me is ...Have I had a reaction or haven't I? When I am "glutened" I break out with DH and have the wonderful bowl dissorders.

So far, McD's fries have been fine.

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There are a lot of valid points being brought up here. It seems to be coming down to this 'panfry' issue--and I'm with Vincent when I say I'm confused as to how that process would eliminate any gluten present in the oil. I'm not saying anyone's statements are right or wrong, but I would really just like to hear an explanation from the oil people.

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I think I can answer this for everyone....

I looked up the defintiion of "panfry" just to se...

Panfry

To cook in a hot pan with small amount of hot oil, butter, or other fat, turning the food over once or twice.

Seirously, how many of you are willing to go get some wholewheat bread, fry it up and eat it? If you NOT then you should not eat McDonalds fries, IMO

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I think she was referring to the "par-fry" method. But then again, how much can I trust a person (or how much investigating has she done regarding this), when she doesn't even know the proper name for the cooking method that is under suspicion.

Karen

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Even if I call it 'par-fry', I still don't get it :huh:

(from other thread... )

I finaly found out what "parfry' is. You deep fry at 375° F for about 4 minutes or until strips are cooked but not brown. Its to prepair them for freezing for storage. The FDA calims "enzyme systems are destroyed" and this alowsd them to be store "between 0 and -18C" for up to 24 months with no degrading of the product.

No mention of it breaking down PROTIEN (ie gluten) that I can find.

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I agree--that process wouldn't break down protein. Like I said before--we're missing a piece of the puzzle, which is, HOW does any cooking or heating process eliminate gluten? I would love to know--always willing to learn :D

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