Find out what menu items from Five Guys do not contain gluten and what you need to know about gluten-free options from fast food restaurants.
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If you love trying burgers from different fast food restaurants or simply need to make a shortlist of places you know are safe to visit while sticking with your gluten-free diet, you’re not alone.
I’m continually on the hunt for places to eat that my family can stop by on a busy afternoon when dinner feels like too much work for any and all of us.
But on a gluten-free diet, finding those options is a little harder than if I could eat anything. So that’s why I’ve been digging into some specific restaurant menus and websites to discover what I can order – and most importantly, if it’s safe to order from different restaurants.
In this post, we’re going to dig into the Five Guys menu, allergen statement, and discuss a little bit about how they handle gluten and other ingredients in their kitchens. We’ll talk about the menu items that contain no gluten ingredients at all – and what you need to know about cross contamination too.
But before we get into that, let’s make sure we cover some of the basics first. Let’s talk about what gluten is, where you can find it, and where you’re most likely to come upon it at fast food restaurants.
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.
Where can you find gluten in food?
Gluten can be found in the form of wheat and grain products, like bread or flour in the more obvious places.
You can also find gluten as a binding ingredient, an ingredient added for texture like to make a food more crispy, or as a thickening agent.
Where can you find gluten in restaurants?
Depending on the restaurant you’re visiting, you may find gluten in a variety of places.
At fast food restaurants, there will be gluten in hamburger buns, the breading of crispy chicken sandwiches or chicken nuggets, some French fries, salad dressings, croutons on salad, and chili or soup options.
At other restaurants, you’ll find gluten in flour in sauces, in pizza or other pastry dough, pasta, and as a thickener in some soups.
Where gluten is found in the menu items will vary from restaurant to restaurant. That’s why it’s always a good idea to review menus from home, and see if you can find any allergen information before you get to the restaurant itself.
Being able to review nutritional information and allergen statements before visiting a fast food restaurant can be the difference between ordering something that you think is safe for your gluten-free diet and getting sick.
Being knowledgeable about what specific menu items you’ll be able to eat without any worries of later reactions is crucial to sticking with your gluten-free diet.
Five Guys allergen statement
According to the Nutrition & Allergen Information document provided on the Five Guys website, this is their allergen statement and how they handle the top allergens in their kitchens:
“Five Guys Enterprises makes every attempt to identify ingredients which may cause allergic reactions for those with food allergies. Every effort is made to instruct our food production staff on the severity of food allergies. However, there is always a risk of contamination.
There is a possibility that manufacturers of foods we use could change the formulation at any time, without notice. There is also a risk of cross contamination due to the nature of our ingredients. Customers concerned with food allergies need to be aware of this risk.
Five Guys enterprises and their franchisees will not assume any liability for adverse reactions to foods consumed, or items one may come into contact with while eating at any Five Guys restaurant.”
What you need to know about the gluten-free options at Five Guys
Five Guys makes their allergen and nutrition information easy to understand on their website, including the ingredients of each of the menu items they offer.
Their allergen statement makes it clear that there is always a risk of cross contamination at their restaurants because they offer menu items with gluten and wheat.
While they aim to take food allergies seriously, you can’t know for sure there will be no cross contact in their kitchens. Keep this mind before visiting this restaurant and before you make choices about what to order.
Their Five Guys bun is a proprietary recipe. The Nutrition & Allergen Information states that the primary ingredients are: water, salt, sugar, vegetable shortening (containing soy), milk, eggs, bleached bread flour, yeast, and sesame seeds. This is an ingredient you need to stay away from on your gluten-free diet as there is gluten in the bun.
What to know about cross contamination at restaurants
Most fast food and carryout restaurants are not considered gluten-free establishments so it’s useful to keep this in mind when making decisions about where to go and what to order.
It’s important to know that even if a fast food restaurant claims that their menu items do not contain gluten, that the possibility and probability of gluten in their products is going to be high if there is even one menu item with gluten available.
Depending on your level of sensitivity to gluten, this can be make or break information for you.
If you are Celiac and are allergic to trace amounts of gluten, you’ll likely want to avoid most fast food restaurants that offer any bread products or French fries that are cooked in a shared fryer with other gluten-containing ingredients.
If you are not sensitive to gluten at the trace level and have adverse reactions to gluten due to a food intolerance, you may decide that these trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination are worth risking for a quick, easy, and convenient food option.
Being aware of how you have reacted to gluten in your diet in the past and how much gluten it takes for your body to react is useful knowledge when it comes to situations like these.
Use your best judgment about what you know about your body, how you react to gluten, and what the risks are for you specifically.
Five Guys Gluten-free Menu Items
According to the Five Guys website, these are the menu items and ingredients that contain no gluten. There is still a potential for cross contamination in the kitchen, so keep that in mind before determining if any of these menu items will work for you.
- Bacon (2 pieces)
- Hamburger Patty
- Hot Dog
The buns at Five Guys are not gluten-free and should be avoided on a gluten-free diet.
You can order most of their burgers in a lettuce wrap – which is the best way to go when trying to stick with a gluten-free diet at this fast food restaurant.
Fries – Cooked in 100% Peanut Oil
- A.1. Original Steak Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Cheese (1 Slice)
- Green Peppers
- Grilled Mushrooms
- Hot Sauce
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Onions/Grilled Onions
- Five Guys Shake Base
- Whipped Cream
- Cherry (processed in a facility with gluten)
- Dark Vanilla Syrup
- Oreo Creme
- Peanut Butter
- Salted Caramel
- Bulk Peanuts
- Eggs (2)
If you’ve been wondering what’s gluten-free at Five Guys, I hope this information has been helpful for you to narrow down your options. While their buns contain gluten, you can order their burgers with a lettuce wrap to help you avoid the biggest culprit of gluten on the menu.
Keep in mind that nothing on the Five Guys menu is truly considered “gluten-free,” as there is always the possibility of cross contamination.
Make your choice on whether or not to visit this restaurant based on what you know about your level of sensitivity to gluten and what you know about how your body reacts to amounts from cross contamination.
More Gluten-free Restaurant Menu Items
If you’re looking at other popular restaurants and wondering what gluten-free menu items they offer, be sure to check out my Gluten-free Restaurant Guide. I’ve outlined all the gluten-free options from 45+ popular restaurants and fast food chains.
- Gluten-free Fast Food: Options from Major Chains
- Gluten and Dairy-free Diet: 4 Restaurant Tips
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- Five Guys Gluten-free Menu Items
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- Jimmy John’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- KFC Gluten-free Menu Items
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- Ruby Tuesday Gluten-free Menu Items
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