McDonalds Gluten Free Menu

There’s been a lot of controversy and discussion regarding whether or not McDonald’s oh so famous french fries are gluten free or not.

Some discussion forums say they are.

Some say they aren’t.

It even seems like McDonald’s is unsure anymore.

The Great Fry Debate

My guess is that since the french fries are cooked in the same fryers as hash browns  (which are not gluten free), McDonald’s fries aren’t gluten free primarily due to high cross contamination.

But I’ve also read that some McDonald’s use a dedicated fryer for their french fries in the U.S. in Canada.

However, these “dedicated fryers” also cook hash browns which aren’t gluten free either.

It’s so confusing.

So my guess is that McDonald’s fries are not gluten free.

You can correct me if I’m wrong by leaving a comment below.

I am totally open to hearing what you have to say about this pretty popular topic.

So just to be safe on my part, I am not going to include McDonald’s french fries in my unofficial McDonald’s gluten free menu listing.

(P.S. If fast food french fries is your thing, may I suggest try some of Burger Kings fries…they’re gluten free!)

[Insert change of topic here]

mcdonalds gluten free menu

McDonald’s Fries: gluten-free or not? That is the question…

Anyways, let’s move on to the other gluten free items that you can find at McDonald’s.

This is the McDonalds gluten free menu items that they provided me.

Let me just warn you though, the selections are limited.

If there’s something incorrect on the menu, please don’t get mad at me, but just let me know so I can fix it asap.


McDonalds Gluten Free Menu


  • Beef Patty with no bun
  • Breakfast Beef Steak
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Scrambled Egg


  • Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait with no granola

McDonald’s Salads

McDonalds Premium Bacon Ranch Salad

McDonalds Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with grilled Chicken (gluten-free)

  • Caesar Salad w/o Chicken
  • Premium Bacon Ranch Salad
  • Premium Southwest Salad (without tortilla strips)
  • Side Salad

McDonald’s Dressings

  • Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar Dressing
  • Newman’s Own Cobb Dressing
  • Newman’s Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Newman’s Own Ranch Dressing
  • Newman’s Own Salsa

Drinks and Beverages

  • Apple Juice
  • Coffee
  • Ice Coffee
  • Hot Chocolate
  • 1% Low Fat Milk, White or Chocolate
  • Orange Juice
  • Soft Drinks
  • Sweet Tea
  • Frappe Caramel
  • Frappe Mocha
  • Frappe Chocolate Chip
  • Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie
  • Strawberry Banana Smoothie
  • Mango Pineapple Smoothie
  • Vanilla McCafe Shake
  • Chocolate McCafe Shake
  • Strawberry McCafe Shake


  • Ice Cream Sundaes including nuts
  • McFlurry with M&M’S Candies

Sauces and Condiments 

  • Butter
  • Chicken McNugget Honey
  • Chicken McNugget Hot Mustard Sauce
  • Hotcake Syrup
  • Jam
  • Ketchup
  • Lettuce
  • Margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Tartar Sauce
  • Tomato
  • Apple Dippers and Low Fat Caramel Dip
  • McDonald’s Cheeses:
  • American Cheese

Here’s the official McDonald’s Allergen and Nutrition PDF

If you enjoyed this McDonalds gluten free menu post as well as the great fry debate, please share with anyone that you know who will find this to be very beneficial.

Thanks again!

McDonalds Official Website

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  • Joyce

    What about the grilled chicken?

    • Adam Bryan

      Hey Joyce,

      The grilled chicken is gluten free. I just forgot to add it to the menu. Thanks for letting me know though!

      • JoyceG

        I had the Caesar salad with grilled chicken and became very sick that evening. I saw that Jonnay had posted (on April 12th) that the grilled chicken is coated in flavoring that contains wheat. I know that I am done with McDonalds.

        • Cyndi

          I had the Ceasars salad with grilled chicken and ceasar dressing on Monday and had a migraine for 2 1/2 days. The McDonald’s allergen and nutrition PDF didn’t indicate any wheat in any of it (I checked) but it nailed me nonetheless. That’s the only thing it could have been. That migraine made my all time worst three list. Won’t be doing that again.

          • Yeslech

            I had the Ceasar’s salad with grilled chicken and ceasar dressing and realized there is bacon in it. Is the bacon real or fake?!?!? If fake it would likely contain gluten…

      • lisa

        CHIC FIL A has the only gluten free fries cause they are cooked in peanut oil.Which,makes them totally gf

        • Ryan

          Peanut oil isn’t any more /less gluten free than veggie oil. And other places fry their fries separate from breaded items. Burger King does, but I stopped having those when I found d there isn’t a lot if separation in the bin under the heat lamp. Found pieces of onion rings twice. So long carb burgers only for me there.

  • MacKenzie

    The fries at McDonalds contain wheat!

    • Adam Bryan

      I’m going to have to agree with you MacKenzie!

      • Tina Kaye

        It actually lists that the beef flavoring in the fries comes from wheat, so it’s no longer just a cross-contamination issue.

        • bsavage7276

          Yep. Since the vegetarians got upset over the beef tallow flavoring the fries, now they use wheat to flavor. I’m not a McDonald’s fan, anyway, especially not anymore.

      • http://McDonaldsglutenfreemenus jknobbe

        McDonald’s/glutenfreemenu says French fries are gluten free and the fryers are dedicated to ff only and the hash browns are gluten free also maybe you need to check into what your eating with the fries that is making you sick. I eat them often and had hash browns yesterday @McDonalds and did not get sick.

        • steph

          Fries are not gluten free

          • Desirae

            I agree with Steph. I have check the ingredient list on the back of frozen fries, and they do indeed have gluten. The only one I think may not are In and Out since they just cut the potatoes and fry them.

            • Adam Bryan

              I agree as well

              • Jonathan Yant

                Dude!! Look at the PDF for ingredients. The fries contain a beef flavoring that has wheat.

        • Jerry

          the McDonalds in Iowa that I go to have a dedicated fryer for french fries only. the manager brought me out a pkg of frozen fries and they are rolled in rice flour and are gluten free please don’t say they aren’t gf everywhere cause this is not true. I eat ff and hash browns and have no problems

    • Haili Potter

      No, i’m a celiac since I was born, but didn’t know it until I got tested for it. I haven’t had a problem with their french fries or hash browns ever.

      • Trisha

        My daughter is the same way. This confuses me. She’s celiac and has been fine with their fries. I was told they are made in seperate fryers.

        • Krysten

          I work at McDonalds and I’ve checked the fries and hash browns multiple times and never found any wheat ingredients. I also eat both and I’ve NEVER been sick from them and I’m diagnosed celiac so I think they’re fine.

          • Ryan

            The issue here is hydrolyzed wheat protein. The question is how much gluten actually remains after the hydrolyzation process. People are so conditioned to see the word wheat and get all up in arms. The fact that so many with issues do eat their dries and hash browns without issue, lends itself to conclude that the levels of gluten are well below the acceptable standard to be considered gluten free, but until a testing process can give conclusive results, it’s just an educated guess.

            I think it’s Greens that uses something similar in their base green bars and such, and the levels of gluten are well below the acceptable level to be considered gluten free.

            All the preachy comments are just laughable. So many high horses in glass houses. It’s a bit pathetic actually.

  • Emma

    I’ve never asked at McDonald’s, but my doctor said that the strawberrys they put in their parfaits are coated in flour so the won’t stick together. So you should definitely ask before ordering one.

    • Adam Bryan

      Thanks for the tip Emma!

      • Trisha

        The McDonalds website says its coated in Konjac flour which appears to be gluten free.

  • Ginger

    The Mcdonalds here in Iowa uses eggs to make scrambled eggs that are NOT gluten free! The two I’ve asked told me they dont use fresh eggs and that they come pre-processed and do contain wheat flour! I would recommend asking each specific place!

    • Adam Bryan

      I agree Ginger. Even though a menu item may appear to be gluten free, it’s always important to double check.

      • Chely

        Me too. I understand that in 2006 McDoinalds changed their position on the fries, and declared that they were NOT gluten free.

  • Jenni

    I have had reactions after eating McDonalds fries…. i Don’t trust them anymore

  • Terrie

    Lot of places may offer gluten free but they arent really .i went in to Apple Bees the other day they sau
    I’d they can’t guarantee gluten free do to cross contamation. Lot of the cooks are not aware of the gluten free, Do they really worry about contamation?

    • Adam Bryan

      Hey Terrie,

      I agree that the risk of cross contamination at some restaurants is sometimes taken lightly. My personal favorite is Chick Fil A because they really do whatever it takes to ensure that your meal is prepared safely.

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  • jomama

    I call this place McGlutens!

    • bsavage7276

      Awesome! I will call it this now, too!

    • Jessica

      We call it the gluten factory!

  • Jamie

    I know I should back it up, but I’ve read so many blogs trying to establish a gf lifestyle that it’s blurred.
    That being said, I read on a blog that McDonald’s cannot call their fries gf not because of cross contamination but because they ADD wheat to their oil for “flavoring.” Why, oh why does one need to add MORE?

  • Jimi

    In Finland you can order any meal without gluten. It’s really cool props to mcdonalds.. I was hoping that they do that in the U.S too because I will move there one day.. What a bummer!

    • Adam Bryan

      That would make life so much easier!

      • amy

        Beware of the balsamic vinaigrette. Balsamic vinegar usually contains gluten.

        • Samantha French

          Hi Amy,
          I don’t want to contradict you, but I guess that’s what I’m doing. Balsamic vinegar is naturally gluten free. The only vinegar that is not naturally gluten free is malt vinegar.

        • Lynne L

          I agree with Samantha. Balsamic Vinegar is gluten free unless it’s in a dressing that has other things added to it. This is for red and white balsamic. Malt vinegar, is of course, the one we can’t have.

        • steelmagnolia

          their pdf says the Rice Vinegar has gluten. I don’t see anything worth eating on this menu that I can safely eat. I ordered the grilled chicken salad and the chicken was coated in something crumbly brown and questionable. i didn’t eat it. 5 Guys for me!

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  • Colin Marcho

    I work at McDonalds and this does raise some concerns. People don’t pay attention to which cooker they cook hashbrowns in during the morning then the same cooker is used on the fries giving them a aftertaste.. tomorrow I will raise this issue and make sure one cooker is designated for hashbrowns another for fries and see that the grease is changed immediately.

    • Adam Bryan

      Hey thanks Colin, that would be great and I’m sure you’ll be doing all of us a huge favor (well at least those around your area at least). Thanks for the input!

  • Heather

    I had read that the southwest style has gluten in the tortilla chips and the south west dressing has gluten as well.

    • lacy

      I did some checking and the southwest salad heres the site I found and my findings..
      confused tho…the tortilla strips are made with corn so not sure if they are gluten free or not – can someone clarify according to the ingredients listed…also the southwest dressing according to the site doesn’t seem to have gluten in it either I believe- I am new at the gluten free thing as of recent so wondering if someone can clarify (is there a wheat term I am missing when reading this) for me if these options are in fact safe from gluten?

      heres the ingredient list off their site…
      Cilantro Lime Glaze:(on the chicken)
      Water, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, distilled vinegar, olive oil, soybean oil, freeze-dried orange juice concentrate, cilantro, salt, freeze-dried lime
      juice concentrate, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), garlic powder, propylene glycol alginate, spice, onion powder, citric acid.

      Chili Lime Tortilla Strips:
      Corn, vegetable oil (corn oil, soybean oil and/or sunflower oil), salt, maltodextrin, sugar, dried tomato, dextrose, spices, onion powder, green bell pepper powder,
      citric acid, autolyzed yeast extract, malic acid, paprika extract (color), disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, natural flavor (vegetable source), lemon extract, spice

      Newman’s Own® Creamy Southwest Dressing:
      Water, corn syrup solids, soybean oil, distilled vinegar, egg yolks, corn vinegar, corn starch, whey, salt, cilantro, sugar, spices, onion powder, garlic powder, apple
      cider vinegar, sour cream powder (cultured sour cream, skim milk solids, whey, sugar, citric acid, lactic acid), natural flavors (animal and vegetable source), xanthan
      gum, lactic acid, paprika, parsley.

      • Robin

        I eat a southwest salad at least once a week! The chips are safe! They are not fried there either! The dressing and glaze are safe also! This is my favorite ! I always check the ingredients myself before eating anywhere:)

        • amy

          I agree I eat the grilled chicken southwest salad often with no issues!

          • Ryan

            Not a gluten oriented reply, but I’ve found the salads at Wendy’s to be a ton better than McDonald’s. And if you do the survey on the receipt you can save $2 off a full size salad every once in a while.

      • Lea

        Distilled vinigar is made by distilling wheat germ so that is an unsafe item. Therefore the chicken is not safe. I will have to check but most hash browns and fries are only potatoes and maybe seasoning and are fried in a seperate vat. The concern would be the oil. I work at McDonalds and there is a way to add oil with a button. Not sure where the oil comes from.

        • Carol

          Wheat germ itself is apparently gf despite the name. However there could be cross contamination issues

  • lacy

    also to help with the great fries debate – I found this…also on the above nutrition website
    .French Fries:
    Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid
    pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to
    preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
    *(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).

    • dawne

      thanks lacy! I always heard that the fries were not GF and also not vegetarian and now I know why!! Why add BEEF FLAVORING to potatoes???!!!

      • bsavage7276

        Oh, they are vegetarian. The beef flavor is referring to what the flavor ends up being — there’s no real beef anymore since they stopped using beef tallow.

    • Lauren

      It also depends on where you’re located – in Canada, the fries (and oil) don’t contain gluten. Cross contamination may be another story, but I eat them pretty often without an issue.

      Canadian PDF:

      Fries as listed in the above PDF: Potatoes, canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, safflower oil, natural flavour (vegetable source), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain colour), citric acid (preservative), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent), cooked in vegetable oil (canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil (TBHQ), citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane).

  • Jonnay

    I recently ordered Grilled Chicken at McDonalds for my son and it appeared to have a thick coating of some sort on the outside. When I looked up the ingredients, I found that Wheat Flour was listed as an ingredient in the Grilled Chicken. RIDICULOUS!!!! I also think he has had a reaction to the french fries at McDonalds.

    • Michelle

      Jonnay, where did you find wheat flour as an ingredient in the grilled chicken??? McDonald’s website states: Grilled Chicken Fillet:
      Chicken breast fillet with rib meat, water, seasoning (rice starch, salt, sugar, yeast extract, canola oil, onion powder, maltodextrin, chicken skin, paprika, flavor,
      sunflower oil, chicken, garlic powder, chicken fat, spices), sodium phosphates.
      Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil and hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, water, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, soy lecithin,
      mono-and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color).

      • Pam

        Maltodextrin, a common food additive, is a type of sugar that’s made by breaking down starch. (Despite its name, maltodextrin does not contain malt.) Whether maltodextrin is gluten-free depends on what kind of starch it came from. In the United States, maltodextrin is usually made from rice, corn, or potato. In Europe, maltodextrin is frequently made from wheat.

  • Andrea

    My 6 year old has celiac. Since his diagnosis, we have not eaten out. I heard McD’s fries are GF. So I took him for a (very unhealthy) treat–about 5-6 hours later he was balled up in pain crying. His reaction was enough evidence I need to NEVER give him McD’s fries again.

  • Alison

    Heard that wheat flour is now being added to bacon,

    • Adam Bryan

      It’s almost like McDonald’s doesn’t want us to eat there anymore Alison…

  • Cicely Lux

    I cant guarantee it but i think the Peanut Butter Cup McFlurry is also gluten free. I read it somewhere else it the past and the Hershey’s web site says ALL Peanut Butter Cups (except holiday shapes) are gluten free. My son has had the PBC McFlurry and suffered no side affects. But its a try at your own risk situation.(at 12 he’s willing to risk it the once or twice a year we get one. LOL)

    • Adam Bryan

      Your son is bold. That’s all I have to say lol. When I think about it too, Reese Cups are gluten free, so it’d only make sense if the McFlurry is too. But I’m with you on the whole eat at your own risk. Thanks for the tip Cicely!

  • daniel weir

    I have McDonalds french fries every day for lunch with a parfait and an orange juice. It never causes me any problem. My brother is a lot more fragile than I am. We both have a problem with artificial sweeteners. The problem that you are having may be with the drink and not the fries.

  • Kim

    Chick fil A’s milkshakes contain wheat. UGH!

  • Gary Bensen

    I used to work at Simplots who made McDonalds french fries and hash browns. In 1990 their hash-browns only have dextrose, vitamin C, and salt. However, the McNuggets are breaded and fried in the same oil, the fries and hash-browns are contaminated.

  • Caryn

    I eat the tortilla strips and don’t have a reaction! Also most use fresh eggs, I did’t know some did’t.

    • Julie

      I worked at McDonald’s for almost a year. Everything is processed mostly. The salads are made every morning and they add the chicken (and tortilla chips) when you order it. The French fries and hash browns are fried together and no one cares much about allergies. I ALWAYS told people it’s better to be safe than sorry (I’m allergic to tree nuts) and to look up the ingredients online. I’m gluten AND dairy free (by diet, not celiacs or lactose intolerant) but reading the beef/milk/wheat crud that’s in the fries makes me feel sick. I think the only thing I can eat at this place is the side salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Also all the meat comes as is and sits in a warmer. The eggs aren’t cooked on the spot either.. Just like dunkin donuts. It’s all frozen. I’ll stick to Chipotle after reading this haha, thanks guys!

  • Joan V

    I have not actually been tested for celiacs or gluten sensitivity but I can tell you even things with traces give me diarrhea and stomach cramps. I stopped having gluten in Dec. Today I decided to try some McDonalds fries and a frappe for a treat and now … you guessed it… diarrhea and stomach cramps! I won’t be doing that again! On a side note, I have lost 30 lbs since giving up gluten and feel sooo much better.

    • Randi

      I just had McDonald’s Egg White Delight without the english muffin – McDonald’s served it in a plastic container (nice job). But, then had a signifiant gluten reaction. I have had this reaction at times when i have eaten scrambled eggs and fried eggs in restaurants. I have since learned that some restaurants add wheat based products to eggs to make fluffy, and I also have read that cross contamination on the same grill that cooks pancakes could be an issue. I noticed that McDonald’s fried eggs are not on the gluten free list. Does anyone have information on whether McDonald’s Egg White Delight (without the bread) is gluten free?

      • kimberley

        They came out with the egg white delight right before I went gluten free. That stuff is delicious. I’ve always been a fan of egg whites. I don’t know about the cheese, but according to mcdonalds 30 something page ingredient pdf, eggs as well as egg whites do not contain wheat at all. The eggs are just eggs, but the egg whites are prepared with liquid margerine. I’m not sure about cross contamination, but when I have just those, I have no reaction. The site says both contain soy lecithin, whatever that is. Is that actually soy? I’m not supposed to really be having soy… or caffeine or sugar or dairy. Hence why I’m having a mocha frappe :rolls eyes:
        btw, this site is a lifesaver! !!!

  • Cory

    Just so no one gets confused when they go to McDonalds to order a drink, McDonalds sweet tea DOES contain gluten. My wife isn’t sensitive enough that cross contamination bothers her but has a bad reaction if she has something with gluten in it and she had a reaction almost immediately after taking a drink of McDonalds sweet tea.

    • april

      I just got sick from drinking a Mcdonalds iced tea. i thought i was crazy but I only had corn chex and rice milk that morning so it must have been the iced tea. I cannot imagine why iced tea would have gluten!

      • bsavage7276

        Hi, April. I can’t imagine why the iced tea would have gluten, but it does have a lot of caffeine. Caffeine can affect your system badly in a similar way to a glutening, especially if you haven’t had a lot in a long time or are greatly affected (caffeine has always caused digestive distress for me, even before becoming gluten free and even moreso now that I am). Just to be safe, though, I would suggest avoiding the iced tea. I go to Burger King myself and order the boundless burger and fries and sometimes have Sprite. I had the peach iced tea there once and got a caffeine reaction and had Dr. Pepper there as well with another caffeine reaction. Just be careful!

        • bsavage7276

          *bunless burger

          My Kindle likes to try to “help” me type…

      • bsavage7276

        Also, I’ve heard that rice milk is sometimes processed with gluten. Why? I don’t know! A better choice would be almond milk or flax milk. I can’t have nuts, so the flax milk has been awesome for me. Silk has also come out with a new cashew milk that I have yet to try. I can have cashews for some reason. Good luck, and pay attention!

  • Devon

    Are you absolutely sure the fries contain gluten? I’ve eaten them before with no side effect. Have any of you guys ever had a doggy brain after eating gluten for an extended period of time? And how long do your pains go away after staying on a gluten free diet?

  • Devon

    Foggy brain*

  • April

    F.y.i. As far as the French fries go… They definitely have wheat in them. When you look at the official McDonald’s allergen and nutrition PDF it shows you all the ingredients used in each item they sell. Wheat is listed as an ingredient in the French fry recipe. I have a whey and casein sensitivity so their French fries are out :(

  • http://google gail

    I have celiac. And when I went into MacDonald’s. And asked them if any thing is gluten free on the menu they looked at me like I came from another planet. I like the french fries and if they had gluten I would had gotten a migraine the next day that would had lasted at least 4 days. So no gluten in the fries. But would hesitate to try anything else I gained a lot of weight with celiac.

    • Megan

      I have Celiac’s also. I ate the fries and didn’t have my usuall horrible headache, diarrhea or nausea. So I figure they have to be GF!

  • DeeDee

    Many commercial french fries have gluten in them. My husband and daughter toured a local potato plant in 2004 or 2005 and, at that time, most of the commercial french fries they produced were made by mashing the potatoes, adding gluten, and extruding the mixture through a die. The gluten is used to stick the mashed potato together. All the fries for each chain/brand must be made to the same standard to maintain consistency of the product nationwide. McD’s was one of many chains/brands this plant produced fries for. Rule of thumb: if the fries are reconstituted they likely contain gluten, if the fries are cut they likely do not contain gluten… but you still have the issue of adding wheat to the oil and cross contamination.

    • Adam Bryan

      Thanks for the insider’s information DeeDee. It’s very helpful

  • barb

    fries not gluten free. spent all day in the bathroom. ick. never again, learn the hard way. was I stupid.

  • Jennifer

    There are way too many food ingredients out there that contain wheat protein to trust any place to eat rather than your own kitchen. This is no easy task!! Trying to prepare a meal at home has become complicated as well. However, once you come up with a meal plan (try to use non GMO products as much as possible) life is good once again;). I don’t eat out much unless it’s at a diner for an omelette. Or Japanese for sushi, in which, I bring my own gluten free soy sauce from Bragg. I know the discussion here is about McD’s gluten free menu but just look at the other ingredients in the stuff as well. If I cannot pronounce the ingredients, I’m not consuming them. I’m so amazed that so many people still eat at these places. The chemicals in the foods are the issue. People are becoming sick from the high intake of these processed ingredients that the body is not designed to break down. I’m not an expert in the field but just something as simple as knowing the difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar is enough to raise a red flag for me. I have UC & Celiacs & ADHD. These intestinal issues are also related to ADHD and who knows what else!! Eat at home. Prepare your own lunch for work. I will go hungry before I eat on the go… The body can handle it so as long as you have water; if you think about it, it’s only a few hours… You can always grab fruit as a snack. Doesn’t sound fulfilling but you get over it rather quickly.

  • Jessica

    my son is very sensitive to cross contamination and he has had no issues eating McDonald’s french fries. we do however only eat at the one in coal city il. due to the fact all of the others around us admit to using the fryers wrong.

  • Samantha French

    The hashbrowns contain the same ingredients as the fries and are gluten free. However, they also both contain the natural beef flavor which utilizes wheat as a starting ingredient. The controvery comes from the natural beef flavor which, although does contain wheat, leaves no wheat residue after the processing of the protein. Independent research groups have assessed whether or not the hydrolyzed wheat used in the fries results in gluten in the final product and they found that there was no gluten in the final product. However, McDonald’s still has to list wheat in the ingredients because it is the law. It’s similar to grain alcohol in that the distillation process removes the gluten. Yet, it’s still made from grain. Everyone has to make the decision that’s right for them, however. Yet, the outside testing agencies have declared that the finished fry and hashbrown products do not contain measurable levels of gluten.

    • Samantha French

      I should also add that the fryers are not always dedicated. Additionally, some McDonald’s recycle their oil, mixing the oil from the dedicated fries fryer and the Chicken McNugget friers together at night and reusing the next day. I always ask about the aforementioned cross contamination risks.

  • Ian

    I have a letter from McDonald’s that states they do not refer to the products as
    Gluten Free, rather “Items” that have no gluten source in the ingredients.
    French Fries and Hash Browns lead the list.
    So the hash browns do not contain Gluten ingredients unless contaminated from
    other sources.
    I can fax you a copy on this letter if you wish. (it’s dated Nov 2009)
    Things might have changed since then. If you find out lets know.


  • walkerjazzman

    so then what u are saying mc donalds fench fries are not gluten free is what u are sayin

  • NatDawg83

    Don’t eat them, they’re bad for you anyway, celiac or not!

  • Atle Haugen

    My experience regarding Mc Donalds and gluten free food is really great. I have to mention that this is in scandinavia (Norway, sweden and Finland). Gluten free bread and fries). I am diagnosed with the “worst” level og celiak sickness ( in Norway you get 300 USD each month if you are at that level to cover the extra expenses). I eat burgere and fries often, and have never got an reaction. I work alot in USA, and have never tryied any mc donalds food, because i do not trust other countries and their gluten free knowlegde. In Norway, you can not find a restaurant which do not serve a full meal gluten free ( with sauce and sides). It should be possible to adapt this knowlege to other countries, because its really a basic thing ( eg. Use maizena flouer instead of wheat).

    • Adam Bryan

      If the U.S. adopted the Scandinavian method of gluten free dining and education, life would be a whole lot easier. Thanks for the great input Atle!

  • Kristen

    Went to McDonalds tonight for the first time after a year of being celiac. After doing my research the only mcflurry I was able to get was m&m, not liking m&m’s I went prepared in hope McDonald’s would be understanding. I tooka ziplock bag with crushed up peanutbutter covered pretzels and chocolate covered pretzels. They were kind enough to make me a mcflurry with my toppings and I think I invented the next best Mcflurry!

    • Adam Bryan

      Smart thinking Kristen! That’s actually pretty awesome that they did that for you too

  • JB

    McDonald’s french fries and hashbrowns not only have gluten but beef flavoring in them. After much research and a trip to the ER from anaphylactic shock I know this is fact.

  • Julie Lutz

    Adam you are a dream come true. Thank you for all youve done.

    • Adam Bryan

      Aw thanks Julie! The truth is that you actually are. It’s a pleasure having you as one of my readers :)

  • Betz

    I don’t get why one would struggle with md’s…’s just unhealthy overall and not worth the risk of trusting a jelly brain teen to prepare my greased food….

  • Trish

    I don’t care much for it myself but my daughter has celiac and for some reason kids love it. Of all the fast food restaurants mcdonalds is probably the best at making her food seperate and keeping her from getting sick. Sure it’s not healthy but for someone who is so restricted on what you can eat all the time it’s nice to be able to go out to eat with everyone and get something you can have too.

    • busdriver37

      My young daughter has celiac, and she has quickly adjusted to Wendys for her fast-food fix. (The kid is a huge, huge, huge fan of baked potatoes now!)

  • Lynne L

    In most places in Canada, McD’s uses Renees Southwest dressing for the Southwest salad…it’s GF. I had the salad for lunch today (minus the tortilla strips, because I had a reaction last time…they have yeast extract in them & since most things that say yeast extract can be suspect, didn’t eat them). I had the grilled chicken in it…no reaction whatsoever. Hope this is helpful.

    • Lynne L

      Sorry, I should have said Ontario…not all of Canada, as I have no idea what they use elsewhere. I have had this salad quite a few places in Ontario & every time it has been Renees dressing.

    • Adam Bryan

      This has been super helpful Lynne! Thanks!

      • Irma

        I never had problems with the fries or the grilled chicken

  • Allie

    What about frappe’s?

    • dbpaddlern

      Here is the pdf of their nutrion menu. It lists all the ingredients and anything with wheat has it in capital bold letters. Frappes are fine, but the health nuts here will yell at you. Smoothies are fine. Shakes are fine as are the general syrup toppings.

      Be wary of the dressings. Buttermilk Ranch has wheat. Creamy Ranch Sauce does not. Big Mac sauce is the same victim of the hydrolyzed wheat. Really? beef flavor in thousand island dressing? Some secret. Chipotle BBQ sauce doesn’t have wheat, but the Tangy Barbecue Sauce does. Sweet ‘N Sour sauce has wheat.

      Regardless of how the hydrolyzed wheat protein is utilized and distilled off or what not in the final product, there are alternatives, like hydrolyzed soy protein. In a perfect world they would all use fresh cut like Burger King and Chik-Fil-A, but at the least, with more people being diagnosed with allergies and intolerances, you’d think a company of this scale could influence some changes and actually market to the crowd. And regardless of what labs say, some are just more sensitive than others. Just like those that have a hard time with some liquors that are distilled from wheat and other gluten grains.

      You general health nuts can keep your unhealthy comments to yourself. Not everyone who enjoys some fast food has weight issues or trouble eating healthy. We like to treat ourselves from time to time and can even enjoy fairly healthy eating at McDonalds and other fast food places. Grilled chicken with lettuce tomato and onion in a lettuce wrap is fairly healthy and half the price of getting something similar at a sit down place, and same with a burger. Picking up a salad with grilled chicken. Just getting a smoothie, and yes we know there is sugar in it. Take responsibility for what you eat instead of trying to group fast food into being the problem and preaching to us about how bad it is. Educate your kids when and if you go. Much easier to educate from within than to place blame elsewhere. If everyone started ordering healthier food at these places, they just might change their menus accordingly. Instead, the masses speak and now McDonald’s comes out with breaded wings when they could ditch the hydrolyzed wheat in the fries and browns and use that same oil for naked wings, fries and browns. Naked wings with some creamy ranch? Yum.

      They have a comment section you can send them an email. The more people with allergies and sensitivities that speak up, the better the chance they might listen. With the shift to healthier eating and allergies and sensitivities becoming more common, they could easily make some minor changes and even market them. Lettuce wrapped sandwiches would be a big plus. Add a side salad to make a meal and you’re eating fairly healthy for what it is.

  • Lisa

    I have had french fries large and hash browns and never get sick and I instantly get a reaction to gluten so they are both safe.

  • Chris

    Seriously if u r celiac or gluten free, fast food is pretty much out. Too many uneducated people out there that think they understand gluten free but don’t.

    • dbpaddler

      It’s really not too hard to eat fast food. The couple places I go, their people are pretty consistent, and I get grilled chicken or burgers sans bun quite a bit. They put them in dishes. The meat is picked up with tongs. Extras are put on by hand(lettuce, tomato, onions). If you ask, they’ll change gloves. Picking up the bun and laying it out is the worst thing they pretty much do on a normal basis. There’s really not a lot of opportunity for contamination at many places now that they handle less with their hands. And my McD’s throws in extra lettuce so I can make it more of a lettuce wrap like Ruby’s and Elevation.

  • Kathy

    As a newbie I’m quite confused. My BFF who is a GF veteran has told me I have to give up my love for Ranch dressing on everything. Well unless I can find a GF substitute that tastes the same. Yet, on every menu it lists ranch dressing as GF! So what’s the verdict? Can I start coating my bun free burgers in ranch?

    • dbpaddler

      Two different Ranches. One’s the dressing and one’s the dipping sauce. Check out the menu and see. One is GF and one isn’t.

    • Adam Bryan

      Hi Kathy, everything restaurants ranch dressing is different. It honestly just depends on whatever restaurant you’re eating at

    • MemoryFell

      I LOVE ranch! I recently started eating Gluten free and was so happy to discover my favourite brand of Ranch is Gluten Free. Noname FYI

  • Kristin

    I eat the french fries and hashbrowns all the time and have absolutely no reaction. I usually order the big breakfast minus the biscuit with a caramel frappe and feel fine. So I think the eggs are fine too. I have Celiac and get violently ill within 2 hours if I consume gluten, but none of these bother me at all.

  • http://McDonald' Briannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnna

    I hate being gluten intolerant but thanks for the helpful information

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  • Brent

    Looking at the McDonald’s Canada ingredient list, it looks like they use vegetable oil in their fryers. Their grilled chicken doesn’t list wheat either, including the seasoning and cooking spray.

    • Victoria

      Just because it doesn’t list wheat does not make restaurant foods safe. Cross contamination can occur by the surface it is prepared on. Many restaurants do not have dedicated surfaces that are protected from gluten contamination.

  • Sarah

    Mcd’s is saying their fries and hashbrown are both gluten free. My daughter has never had a reaction to the fries, we’ve always stayed away from the hashbrowns but I think we will have to give them a try now and see hat happens.

  • jane

    ketchup contains vinegar, which is NOT gluten free. for those who have sever allergies even trace amounts can be harmful.

    • crogs

      Your keyword is severe. It’s such a small population that is effected by products distilled from grains. And only vinegars that are malted present more of a universal problem. Those not made from grains are perfectly fine, the only kicker bring wine vinegar that come from barrels. lined with with a flour paste, and even then the gluten content present even before starting distillation is at or almost at the level to be gluten free by most standards, and that’s before distillation.

      And for the record, Heinz ketchup is gluten free which is what McDonald’s carries.

    • Echoey

      Jane – Heinz makes a vinegar from corn if you need some. Also their ketchups are made using corn vinegar

      • charity

        Not all of them there is a heinz that has no corn syrup

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  • Tracey

    Even the most gluten-free conscious restaurants have wayward employees that can screw up and cross-contaminate (“please change your gloves”, “did you change the water?”). I’m not leaving my gastro tract in the hands of some teenie bopper working at McDs!

  • Cheyenne

    I have a gluten intolerance and the fries haven’t hurt me :)

  • sudsn

    wondering why the southwest salad says to skip the tortilla strips. I buy them all the time at the grocery store and every brand I’ve checked is gluten free!

    • rcro

      1. Some tortilla chips add wheat flour. Usually have some whole or multi grain designation, but when you’re buying something bagged, it’s an easy thing to recognize. Don’t think they mention what these are made of.
      2. I have restaurants that make tortilla chips and they fry them in the same oil as all the breaded foods. So “cross contact” as someone pointed out. Maybe the company that makes them makes all sorts of fried chips and some contain wheat.
      That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

  • Karen Lane

    I too have a gluten intolerance. I have found McDonalds fries differ by restaurant. I could eat them a one with no problem. We recently moved, and I got sick eating fries at the McDonalds in our new town. So….you take a chance, is it worth it??

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  • Mike Robins

    Cant believe people still eat this garbage regularly

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  • Aaron Archual

    I heard from a lady I know (who is very strict on her gluten free diet) that McDonalds has a filler in their meat that gives them gluten.

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  • Southernsweetie

    This is cut and pasted directly from Mcdonald’s ingredient list:


    Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid

    [Preservative]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. Prepared in Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean

    Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness), Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.



    *Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.

    Same for the hash browns.

  • Dawn

    Is the soft serve gluten free?

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  • Bren

    The Fries have gluten via the beef flavoring. If you have celiac disease, then you shouldn’t eat at McDonalds. Cross contamination is going to happen when you have workers handling do many burgers and using the same surfaces for all the good. This is a place that uses lots of buns, breaking and other sources of gluten. It I only takes particles of the stuff to wreck you for two weeks if you have celiac. Seriously you sre dreaming if you think you are not getting any gluten when you eat at this place.

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  • Margie

    I cannot believe that a company as big as McDonalds cannot be 100 percent sure that their gluten free foods are gluten free. The health of many people, mostly children are at risk A loving Grandma

    • busdriver37

      It’s standard CYA language. My daughter has celiac; even the best restaurants we go to still contain the same disclaimer on their menus.

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  • Jessica

    I work at a McDonalds in Canada. The fries do not have a coating (or the beef flavour mentioned above) but the hashbrowns do (which contains rice flour to help crisp them up) and are 100% gluten free. The oil used in Canada was changed years ago to remove the gluten that used to be hidden in the oils flavouring, so as long as you are in Canada you can enjoy the fries. Also their gravy for the poutine is gluten free! Unfortunately, last I heard, the oil and fries have not been changed to accommodate us and continue to contain gluten in the States. As mentioned above, even once surfaces have been wiped and hands have been washed, cross contamination is still very possible and if you are a severely sensitive celiac you should avoid ordering food from the kitchen. I have never been sick ordering any small burger with no bun due to celiac, just the excessive grease lol!

    Allergy Guide For McDonalds Canada

  • rob

    gluten free poutine !!!!!!!!!!!! lol!

  • Mena

    The fries are not Gluten free!

  • Lynn Hill

    I am at a McDonalds right now who tells me NOTHING at Mc Donalds is gluten free. I say be smart and stay away from fast food joints.

  • Walter Lees

    Regarding McDonald’s French Fries. After asking the supervisor there and getting the “I don’t know but here’s our nutrition menu”. I looked it up on the McDonald’s site and finally found the following link which required me to enter a zip code to pin down the ingredients.

    The information it related is copied here verbatim:

    Allergens: WHEAT AND MILK
    Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*, Citric Acid [Preservative]), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt.
    Prepared in Vegetable Oil: Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness. Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

    *Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.

    Keep in mind that it asked for a zip code so your locations may have different ingredients.
    Now I have no reason to ever go back to McDonald’s.

    In-and-Out here I come!

  • Ms. Fee

    McDonald’s and several hundred other fast food restaurants are not ‘gluten free’. These restaurants offer gluten free items. The problem is CROSS_CONTAMINATION! If you are o a random gluten free diet, no problem. But if you are diagnosed with celiac and/or gluten sensitivity, then you should NEVER eat at McDonald’s or any other fast food restaurant. You should eat at certified 100% gluten free fast food and regular restaurants. Because the USA only recognizes gluten free at 100miliparts per million – that simply meas there is gluten in 99% of all gluten free foods. BEWARE….

  • Kara Balcarras

    If you go to the McDonald’s website for Canada it says both their fries and hashbrowns are gluten free and are cooked in a seperate frier. Their beef patties are 100% beef and only have salt and pepper added. But because they prepare food that has gluten in the same kitchen they cannot guarantee anything to be gluten free.

  • Hyacinth Glover

    I don’t eat at mcdonalds due to how rudely I have been treated because of me having celiac disease. I explain that I have to make a special order and that I might have some questions. I still get whined at, or told I am making it too complicated for the server to handle. I ordered a burger without bun or sauce and the server asked me if it was for a dog to eat (apparently people order meat patties for their dogs I learned, but still.) Also I seriously doubt they change their gloves, just sayin.

  • RCombs

    I think another question to ask in the great fry debate is…”Is there a common filter used between fryers” Just cause an eatery has a dedicated fryer for their fries – does not mean they are always GF. I have been told at some high end restaurants that they have separate fryers, but they share the same oil filter system – thereby contaminating the oil…

  • busdriver37

    As one of the steps in manufacturing their proprietary french fries, McDonalds dips them in a vegetable oil + wheat mixture. (It helps their outside crisp up.) They also regularly use an oil with a wheat-based flour mixed in, for texture purposes. McDonalds french fries are most definitely NOT gluten-free, even if they were fried in a dedicated fryer. (But you can still have Ore Ida fries at home; those are definitely GF.)

  • firefly

    I do not eat gluten and so far I have not had a problem with McDonald’s french fries. In fact, it is one of very few places that I can eat the french fries. I would be leery of ketchup. There is hidden gluten in many brands of ketchup as well as salad dressings. I would have to see the ingredient list before I would eat any ketchup or salad dressing. Also, any processed chicken (like the grilled chicken on the salads) have some sort of seasoning on them. I have been very careful about not eating foods like that because you just never can be 100% sure of the ingredients used for seasoning & coating. I usually just order a side salad with a side order of bacon (to put on my salad).