With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

03 August 2008

More on Fast Food for Food Allergies

Where can you get "safe" food in a pinch?  Fast food restaurants are so convenient, but do they serve something that fits your dietary restrictions?  Well, that depends.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, we had some luck at a Burger King in Connecticut.  But we only have one food allergy: peanuts, and there was almost zero chance of cross-contamination in that particular situation.

How do the fast food restaurants measure up when you have other food allergies or multiple food allergies?  Robyn A. of Peanut Allergy Kid has saved us all a little trouble by providing links to the food allergen information on the websites of the major fast food chains in the U.S.  "On paper", some of these restaurants may meet your needs.  But beware!  The restaurant you visit needs to follow certain protocol to avoid cross-contamination, and sometimes shortcuts are taken which could cause cross-contamination.  Consider especially whether foods you need to avoid are fried, and if they are fried in different oil than the items you want to order.  While headquarters may be aware of the dangers of food allergies and cross contamination, the fry cook or clerk at the drive-thru may not.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link!! I totally agree on the cross contamination in the fryer. That's not a problem too much for us since we only deal with peanuts now but when we had the milk and egg allergies it was a bigger concern.

There are so many things to take into consideration it's easier to eat at home sometimes!!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for the post. Although some of us dealing with multiple severe allergy cannot buy anything in drive-thrus other than apple juice and apple slices (without the caramel thank you), others with one or two allergies might be able to in a pinch.

I am webmaster for Loudoun Allergy Network (a FAAN support group in Loudoun County Virginia) and have compiled a link to many fast food (and non fast food) restaurants. We also have information from our Members about their experiences, good and bad.

You have inspired me to create another page with links to blogs talking about first hand experiences in restaurants.

I love your site and visit it often for information and inspiration!


Anonymous said...

I had a severe reaction at McDonalds about 1 1/2 years ago. My only food allergy is tree nuts, and I had never had a severe reaction previously. Ate burger, fries, and apple pie. An hour later it started with my hands itching and within 15 minutes my tongue had swollen to double it's size and my lips were numb and swollen. Took 2 Benedryl, and 25 minutes later (on way to hospital) I began blacking out. Nurses weren't surprised; one said her daughter had a reaction at Hardee's food and never figured out why. I called McDonalds to ask them to check with bakery that made the apple pies to make sure there was no contamination from tree nuts and was told more than once that they would "send a letter". I begged her to call. Needless to say they called back a few weeks later and said they'd found no problem and I felt like a toddler who'd just been patted on the head.