How Does McDonald’s Handle Food Allergies?

7 minute read | Published: May 23, 2024 | Updated: July 1, 2024

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McDonald's Food Allergy Information

McDonald’s provides details about potential food allergens in its menu online as well as in their allergen booklet. However, McDonald’s also admits that due to the frequent recipe changes, this information might not always be accurate or up to date. It’s always a good idea to ask the cashier at the restaurant if the item you plan to order contains any specific allergens.

Here’s the official statement from McDonald’s:

We produce our food in kitchens where allergens are handled by our people, and where equipment and utensils are used for multiple menu items, including those containing allergens.  Although your meal is prepared with care, we cannot guarantee it will be allergen free, even after ingredients have been removed on request. While there are no nuts or peanut ingredients in the products listed we can’t guarantee that our food is completely nut or peanut free.”

It adds:

Delivery orders: We also cannot guarantee your meal will not come in to contact with other allergens during delivery. Couriers may transport other McDonald’s orders or orders from other businesses at the same time as your McDonald’s order.”

Is McDonald's Safe for People with Food Allergies?

What are the allergens in McDonald’s menu?

McDonald’s menu items usually include several common allergens like:

  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Egg
  • Nuts

What are the safe choices for allergy sufferers at McDonald’s?

It’s important to note that cross-contamination can happen during food preparation especially in fast food chains so the safest option for those with severe food allergies is to not go. However, for those with milder allergies, there are some safer menu options available.

What are the gluten-free options at McDonald’s?

McDonald’s has some gluten-free items such as:

  • Apple slices
  • Side salad (without croutons)
  • Fruit & yogurt parfait (without granola)
  • Coffee, soft drinks, apple juice, orange juice and tea

Also, some McDonald’s locations offer a gluten-free bun for their burgers, though this option is not available everywhere. You can view this list of gluten-free menu items for more details.

Iconic Big Mac at McDonald's

What are the dairy-free options at McDonald’s?

Some McDonald’s menu items can be enjoyed without dairy:

  • Hamburger or cheeseburger (without cheese)
  • French fries
  • Quarter Pounder (without cheese)
  • McChicken (without cheese or mayonnaise)
  • Apple slices
  • Side salad (with a dairy-free dressing)

Check here the McDonalds menu prices!

What are the egg-free menu items at McDonald’s?

The egg-free options at McDonald’s include:

  • McChicken
  • French fries
  • Hamburger
  • Cheeseburger
  • Quarter Pounder
  • Side salad (egg-free dressing)
  • Apple slices

Are there any soy-free items at McDonald’s?

There are some McDonald’s menu items that are soy-free like:

  • Apple slices
  • Hamburger (with a soy-free bun)
  • Side salad (with a soy-free dressing)
  • Beverages, such as coffee, soft drinks and tea

Please note that McDonald’s French fries are cooked in a blend of vegetable oils that contain soybean oil so it’s not recommended for those with soy allergies.

Can I customize my order at McDonald’s?

You can customize your McDonald’s orders. For example, if you have a wheat allergy you can ask for a hamburger or cheeseburger without the bun. If you have a milk allergy you can order a McChicken without cheese or mayo.

What’s the risk of cross-contamination at McDonald’s?

Cross-contamination can happen during food preparation posing a significant risk for those with severe food allergies. McDonald’s staff follow specific food handling and preparation protocols, and they also train their staff on food allergies and proper handling. However, you need to communicate your specific allergy concerns to the staff to ensure your food’s safety.

Is McDonald’s safe for people with food allergies?

Even though your meal is prepared with care, McDonald’s cannot guarantee it will be allergen-free, even if ingredients are removed upon request.

Are McDonald’s fries soy free?

There are no dairy, soy, or egg ingredients used in McDonald’s fries, and these are not cooked in the same oil as other products containing these ingredients.

What McDonald’s menu items have soy?

The following McDonald’s food items usually contain soy:

  • McGriddles
  • Breakfast biscuits
  • Big Macs
  • Pasteurized American cheese
  • Tangy barbeque sauce
  • Sweet ‘N Sour sauce
  • Some desserts and sweets menu items

McDonald’s Handling of Food Allergies in a Nutshell

McDonald’s provides the ingredients list and allergen information for each item on their menu to help those with allergies avoid the potential triggers. However, it’s important to remember that the ultimate responsibility for managing your food allergies lies with you. So always double-check the ingredient list and communicate your specific needs to the McDonald’s staff when ordering.

Category: Dietary Info