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WendyG

Mcdonald's French Fries

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Where is the CC in the fries? They have a dedicated fryer. What would it take to make McDonald's fries more safe than your comfortable restaurant, where they most certainly do not have a dedicated fryer?

A point Celiacs should know is that they do not fry the fries in a dedicated fryer for our benefit. Far from it, they only do so because otherwise the fries would taste like chicken or fish. Also, the oil would become fouled (no pun intended) with flour batter droppings.

The world does not revolve around Celiacs. They sell tens of millions of orders of fries worldwide every day. I can't see them building their marketing strategy around "how can we deceive the Celiacs". If they were that concerned about us they would simply remove the tiny amount of wheat flavoring in the oil.

But why should they bother? Even that would not satisfy some people (care to guess who?). My main point is, if you say CC is an issue with McDonald's fries, than CC is an issue anywhere you eat out. Fast food or restaurant.

best regards, lm

Here in the UK they do battered onion rings... (in a seperate frier) however a 'bonus' onion ring in the fries is not unknown!! (were talking a 4" diameter ring here not a speck) does it foul the oil.. of course but then this is probably something they are more likely to do at the end of a shift etc. but just as much to the point, do they handle buns and then handle the fries?

Do they do this regularly ?? probably not... is it worse than a sit down resto? Probably not....

But as you say they serve tens of millions per day....

The world does not revolve around Celiacs. They sell tens of millions of orders of fries worldwide every day. I can't see them building their marketing strategy around "how can we deceive the Celiacs". If they were that concerned about us they would simply remove the tiny amount of wheat flavoring in the oil.

1:x people are celiac... and 1:x diary intollerant etc.

I don't know the percentage of Hindu Americans ... but I'd guess its not that big....

McDonalds however officially lied to the American Hindu association for years...

Take into consideration that Hindu's are unlikely to be patrons of a Burger joint in the first place.... its a bit like having a Kosher hog grill place???

Yet McDonalds lied about the beef extract in the fries....

They do this because they want to be inclusive.... because opening the lid for the Hindu's would open it for vegetarians... etc.

McDo's have a very defined marketing strategy... if you study Marketing all companies are dived into Marketing Based and Sales Based very few are 'balanced'.. (we are talking about 'sales departments' not shop sales)

McDonalds are very very marketing based...

They market a 'product' and an 'image' and 'sales people' do not get any latitude in this...

If you take a dept store for instance many will allow the sales staff to do product placement.. decide how to play things out in the store and take feedback from the people actually meeting the customers over what works and what doesn't...

McDonalds doesn't work like that... as is stated several times above the fries are done in a certain frier in a certain place to a certain recipe ... they control everything down to the 'have a nice day' ... and asking "do you want fries with that" even if the customer specifically asks for a Big Mac with no fries and no drink...

A salesforce driven company the sales people are allowed lattitude... and allowed to interpret the customers wishes... for instance not telling the guy coming from a funeral to "have a nice day" ....

If they were that concerned about us they would simply remove the tiny amount of wheat flavoring in the oil.

But they are not concerned about us... they are only concerned about our money....

Ford continued to sell the Pinto with a known fatal fault.... they continued to sell the explorer with a fatal fault.... (as just one example)....

They could have recalled the product..... and fixed the flaw... but it cost more than they expected to have to pay out in liability...

Its really that simple... as the scene on Fight Club....

All that matters is "what can we sell and the bottom line"....

They got caught out over the beef in the fries... but only because the American Hindu assoc actually analysed them.... by the same token, why didn't they just disclose the beef ??

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When I called them I was told that one of the flavors had a wheat component and that the amount of wheat in the finished french fry product was so low that they could be considered gluten free. However they will make no guarantees about their gluten free status. I'm not that proud of it, but I've let my son eat their fries three times now and he has never gotten sick. I always tell them that they cannot touch wheat or breading and then I watch the employee that handles them like a hawk. :rolleyes:

Jenny ...

I don't think its an issue for 3 times....

We all take risks everyday.... much as we minimise them....

I am not going to rob him of his french fries!!

Much as it might feel like this you're not robbing him.... McDonalds are...

As Larry Mac said ... (but obviously turning it around) .. why don't they just change the recipee??

I think the way to look at it is like this...

Once in a while the risk is very small .... but if you start to regard the fries as "safe" and a frequent thing then the risk multiplies...

This is my main issue... for all your stated reasons... that due to a skillfully written and deliberately deceiving report people start to consider them "safe"...

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The Canadian site says the natural flavour comes from a vegetable source. Since wheat is a grain, not a vegetable, I believe I can safely rule out gluten.

Also, they use CANADIAN ingredients here. This is what they say about the potatoes for the French fries:

They may use the term "vegetable source" as in derived from plant matter not necessarily a vegetable. This would included wheat since it is a plant. Many companies use/twist words to mean what they want them to mean. <_<

Tica :)

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What really stood out to regardless of whether there is gluten or not in the ingredients is how disgusting the ingredients were. Hydrogenated oils are extremely bad for you. These are not potatoes but rather some form of man made chemical concoction. I woudn't eat these even if they were safe!!!! Yuck!!

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Well here's the response from McDonald's to my request that they remove the gluten from the french fries:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's. We always enjoy hearing from our customers and welcome this opportunity to share some information with you about our menu items.

You indicated that you need to determine whether gluten is present in our French fries or hash browns. Hydrolyzed wheat bran, the starting ingredient used in making the natural flavor for our French fries and hash browns, is a common ingredient in many food products. Consistent with what we know about the process for making our flavor, testing and analysis by leading experts have not detected gluten in our French fries or hash browns. In case you had any concern, the recent announcements about McDonald's French fries relates to the 0 gram TFA per labeled serving cooking oil we are now using in all U.S. restaurants. There have been no other changes in the French fry ingredients.

For reference, please visit McDonald's website at www.mcdonalds.com.

Once again, thank you for contacting McDonald's."

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I guess that doesn't help those of us that have a stupid wheat sensitivity on top of the celiac issues. I feel so cheated.

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Well here's the response from McDonald's to my request that they remove the gluten from the french fries:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact McDonald's. We always enjoy hearing from our customers and welcome this opportunity to share some information with you about our menu items.

You indicated that you need to determine whether gluten is present in our French fries or hash browns. Hydrolyzed wheat bran, the starting ingredient used in making the natural flavor for our French fries and hash browns, is a common ingredient in many food products. Consistent with what we know about the process for making our flavor, testing and analysis by leading experts have not detected gluten in our French fries or hash browns. In case you had any concern, the recent announcements about McDonald's French fries relates to the 0 gram TFA per labeled serving cooking oil we are now using in all U.S. restaurants. There have been no other changes in the French fry ingredients.

For reference, please visit McDonald's website at www.mcdonalds.com.

Once again, thank you for contacting McDonald's."

Its just misleading ...

1/

Hydrolyzed wheat bran, the starting ingredient used in making the natural flavor for our French fries and hash browns, is a common ingredient in many food products.

Erm, yeah so is wheat flour but that's not the question...

2/

testing and analysis by leading experts have not detected gluten in our French fries or hash browns

Again, according to the lab report they didn't test the final product so of course they didn't detect gluten...note they strongly imply the finished product is tested but don't actually say do!!

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both excellent points.. All I know is I used to eat their fries all the time and then about 6 weeks ago, I started getting sick.... like I was being glutened. Now I don't eat their fries anymore and I feel better.

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both excellent points.. All I know is I used to eat their fries all the time and then about 6 weeks ago, I started getting sick.... like I was being glutened. Now I don't eat their fries anymore and I feel better.

I still think CC is the biggest problem.... and Like LarryMac say's it could just as easily be a resto perhaps...

The big problem (at the risk of repeating myself) is that we (celiacs) start doing what you did "eat them all the time" ... just because its easy to believe that "oh McDo's fries are safe" ... because its so hard to get anything else to eat ... and it ends up being a habit.. (which is after all the whole marketing strategy of McDo's - not for celiacs but in general)

for Some corps like McDo's you need to read EVERY last word ... because they will have a standard response drafted by a team of expert's at misleading writing, checked by lawyers etc.

If you ever watch The west wing I can imagine they have similar discussions about the exact nuance and liability of everyword as presidential speeches.

I've worked for companies with the same sort of rules... and nothing gets released without a whole panel of writers and lawyers ... even though the response might seem casual... the way to tell is often that it doesn't actually answer the question .. like the "natural product" part... is always a giveaway ... if you didn't ask that why did the answer it ... ?? Probably because they have a choice of 10 or so responses they can send that have been checked for liability and marketing spin and the person is not allowed to edit them, only reply with the whole response...

.... another thing to consider is I personally find with very low amounts (like 20ppm wheat starch) the reaction is more of a build-up than a wham-bang ... often affecting my mood and neuro symptoms subtly before I get the big D ...

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I just wanted to add that yesterday I took a chance and tried a different McDonald's than the one where I felt like I kept getting glutening from the fries and I had no reaction whatsoever. I think for me it's just this one particular McDonald's. I wonder if they're not contaminating me. I swear there was this one day where they looked kind of dark and when I tasted them they tasted slightly like chicken. I only ate like 3, but I got so bloated and sick feeling.

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A great debate! I always enjoy the discussions that go on in this forum, and I always learn so much!

One of the great things that has come from my celiac diagnosis is that I now watch what I eat. Well, to say "watch what I eat" is an understatement; I religiously, fanatically analyze every item before it goes in my mouth, with the general theme being to avoid gluten and improve overall health. Let me expand on those two comments, "avoid gluten" and "improve overall health."

"Avoid gluten..."

If it says it has wheat in it, as does the ingredient list for McDonald's french fries, I don't eat it. If it says it has a deriviative of wheat, or a flavoring made from wheat, or even if it's processed in a facility that also processes wheat or that it may "contain a wheat ingredient", I simply don't eat it. For me, the risk isn't worth debating the ppm gluten content. I honestly can't tell you how many parts-per-million gluten I can tolerate, as I avoid all wheat products completely. Do McDonald's french fries make me sick? I don't know, because I have not eaten them since going gluten-free two years ago. Do I miss them? Of course, they are delicious! Can I live without them? I've been doing pretty good so far.

"Improve overall health..."

Eating at McDonald's isn't exactly synonymous with health improvement. Many who have celiac disease have other health complications at the same time. Eating more fruits and vegetables--and less sodium acid pyrophosphate and dimethylpolysiloxane--is definitely good for me. Perhaps for you, too.

McDonald's french fries are--or were-- a part of American life for many of us. I can tell you it was definitely heartbreaking for me to give up so many of the convenient and tasty foods of my past, but now I am able to reflect on my personal victory every time I drive by a McDonald's and think, "no thanks."

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