Find out if McDonald’s fries are safe for a gluten-free diet, and what McDonald’s menu items are gluten-free.
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Do you enjoy getting fries from McDonald’s now and then to cure your french fry craving? McDonald’s is a well known fast food restaurant that has many hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and yes, french fries.
While they aren’t getting any awards for being healthy, once in a while, swinging by your local McDonald’s might feel extremely nostalgic or comforting to you.
However, if you’re on a gluten-free diet, you might be wondering if their food, and particularly, their fries are safe for you to enjoy while avoiding gluten.
In this post, we’re going to talk about what McDonald’s fries are made of, how they’re made, and if you can trust that these will be gluten-free. We’ll also answer questions about what other gluten-free items are on the McDonald’s menu.
What are McDonald’s fries made of?
According to the McDonald’s website, their French fries are made with the following ingredients:
“Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [wheat And Milk Derivatives]*), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (maintain Color), Salt. *natural Beef Flavor Contains Hydrolyzed Wheat And Hydrolyzed Milk As Starting Ingredients.”
Read on: Is soybean oil gluten-free?
How are McDonald’s fries made?
McDonald’s fries are made using specific potatoes to make their famous French fries. Their website says they use Russet Burback and Shepody potatoes. They are made at a factory, partially fried, frozen, then packaged up to be sent to various McDonald’s restaurants.
At the local McDonald’s you might visit, these fries are then fried again in oil to get the perfect crispy bite.
Where are McDonald’s fries made?
McDonald’s fries are made into fries and pre-cooked at the factory, then sent to local restaurants to be finished cooking and served. These fries are cooked in large fryers in the kitchen area of each McDonald’s restaurant.
These French fries share the fryers with other fried food on the McDonald’s menu, such as their fried chicken and fish for sandwiches, and chicken nuggets.
Read on: Are French fires gluten-free?
Read on: Are Arby’s fries gluten-free?
Read on: Are Chick-Fil-A fries gluten-free?
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Gluten is often added as a binding ingredient in many foods, and in French fries, it may be in a batter that is added to help get a French fry to be more crispy on the outside.
Are McDonald’s fries gluten-free?
According to the McDonald’s website, their French fries are not gluten-free.
When listing their ingredients, they state that at one point in the processing of their fries, “Our suppliers add natural beef flavor, which includes hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk, to the par-fry oil to contribute to that World Famous Fry taste.”
If you follow a gluten-free diet, McDonald’s French fries are not ones you’ll want to order.
Are McDonald’s fries dairy-free?
You wouldn’t think that any French fries would contain dairy, but McDonald’s fries do! If you are avoiding dairy and milk products, you’ll also want to steer clear of McDonald’s fries.
They use hydrolyzed milk in their ingredients to give the fries flavor, so if you are also following a dairy-free diet, don’t order fries from McDonald’s!
Are McDonald’s hash browns gluten-free?
According to the McDonald’s website, their ingredients list is followed by a “Contains: Wheat” note, meaning this food is not safe for someone following a gluten-free diet. Opt for a different type of hash brown than those from McDonald’s or choose to make your own at home.
Are any French fries gluten-free?
French fries can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet when you can verify that the fries do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients AND that the fryer that they are cooked in is not shared with other foods that contain gluten.
If you plan to order French fries at a restaurant, ask your server if they have a dedicated fryer for people who follow a gluten-free diet.
Your best option to enjoy French fries is to make your own at home in your oven or air fryer. The next best option is to buy some gluten-free frozen French fries and cook them in your oven at home.
Get a list of gluten-free frozen French fries.
Does McDonald’s offer any gluten-free food items?
By looking through the online McDonald’s menu, these are the options I was able to find that might be okay for a gluten-free diet. I say might, because I wasn’t able to find any statements from McDonald’s regarding gluten in their foods, so this is just my best guess based on what I know about gluten and where it hides in food.
- Soft drinks
- Hot chocolate (contains milk)
- Smoothies (contains milk)
- McFlurry with M&M’s candies (contains milk)
- Chocolate shake (contains milk)
- Hot fudge sundae (contains milk)
- Hot caramel sundae (contains milk)
- Apple slices
- McCafe coffee drinks (contains milk)
- Americano and premium roast coffee
If you love going to McDonald’s for their fries, you might want to start looking for a new option to get your French fry fix. This fast food restaurant does not offer gluten-free fries or too many gluten-free friendly options except for beverages at all. Your best option is to make your own fries at home or find a restaurant that uses a dedicated gluten-free fryer to make their fries.