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Readers Respond: Do You Eat at Fast Food Restaurants with Gluten-Free Options?

Responses: 43


Updated January 09, 2011

With the growing popularity of the gluten-free diet, many fast food restaurants have developed gluten-free menus or offer gluten-free options. Still, the risk of cross contamination remains high, and many people in the celiac and gluten intolerant community steer clear of fast food restaurants. Do you eat at fast food restaurants? If so, where? How have you made it work for you? Share your story. Share Your Story

Cross contaminated oil

I don't see how Sonic or similar restaurants can say their fries are gluten free when they are fried in the same oil as onion rings, mazarella sticks, etc. I always look to see what the other menu items are. If they are breaded and fried, unless they have a seperate fryer (which they seldom do), all that breading is in the oil.
—Guest Jessica

5 Guys

I love to eat at 5 Guys. They are very careful about allergies. Only thing in the fryer are the fries. They make sure to change gloves all the time. They offer lettuce wraps if you want that. I watch as they prepare mine. One time a new employee was being trained. The manager saw him set my foil right on the counter. She made him throw it away & put paper towel down first. Then the foil, used to wrap the burger in. Great food!
—Guest Katie

My Fast Food Experiences

I got terribly sick from eating sonic's french fries and have found that Del Taco's french fries are the best never have I gotten sick.
—Guest kate

In-n-Out Fries

They are absolutely gluten free. There's no need to ask. They're the only deep-fried item on the menu. Also, if you order your protein-style burger and specify "gluten allergy" (their term - don't shoot the messenger), they'll clean the grill and take special care to avoid cross-contamination.
—Guest Eric

McDonald's does an effort elsewhere

I was travelling in Europe and was surprized to find out that in Finland almost any burger could be ordered gluten-free! (Apart from the obvious where the meat has breading). Gluten-free and safe for those with wheat allergies do not mean the same thing though, to my understanding the buns contain wheat starch which is also a common ingredient in many gluten-free bakery products. Those with wheat allergy should remember to ask for naturally gluten-free products.
—Guest M

Chipotle and contamination

Chipotle is a great option! I love it there. However, even if they change their gloves any toppings or the lettuce may be contaminated. It really depends on how sensitive you are. If you watch then make a tortilla, they touch the tortilla, reach in for the toppings (or use the spoon), spread the topping (sometimes touching the tortilla, and put extra back. This may not cause problems for most, but I have small reactions occasionally.
—Guest Shannon


I've had great experiences with bunless burgers, baked potatoes, and chili at Wendys.
—Guest Laura

KFC reaction -gluten and peanuts

I am gluten sensitive and my 2 yr old is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and sesame. We have both reacted to chicken (including grilled) and potato wedges at KFC. Whenever I have asked questions about allergens the staff is allusive and give me the same party line that their chicken is cooked incanola oil. This is their response even when that's not my question. There is something they don't want to share. We stay clear.
—Guest Jill

Wendy's salads

Wendy's salads have always been a choice we could rely on when traveling with my son who has celiac. They have changed the menu and now the salads have a warning by them indicating that the chicken could be cut on common cutting boards. I assume that means that the salads are no longer safe, but this article was updated only 4 days ago and it still claims that the salads are safe. Does anyone know if the salads are safe or not?
—Guest Liz


I have witnessed the server drag the spoon for the rice over a flour tortilla then make an attempt to prepare our gluten free meal. I also witnessed Chipotle employee dump rice from a previously prepared flour tortilla into the rice container thereby contaminating the whole batch. A word to the wise; STAY AWAY FROM CHIPOTLES is you want gluten free meals. Their staff are not properly trained in the proper protocol when it comes to food allergies. STAY CLEAR of CHIPOTLES.
—Guest S.D.D

Hotheads, Moes and Pizza Joes

First, I have never had a problem with McDonald's fries at any of many locations. As for Chipotle rivals Moes and Hotheads just ask for a bowl and clean gloves and stay away from the obvious. If you have a Pizza Joe's their gf pizza is excellent and you can buy crusts for use with your own toppings recipe at home
—Guest Chet


I have a severe wheat allergy and mcdonald's fries even one or two will cause me to cough uncontrollably and itch all over.
—Guest kaye

McDonalds Fries

Everytime I see something on the internet about whether McDonalds fries are gluten free or not they always discuss the oil. If you read their ingredient list the fries are soaked in milk and beef broth. They list ingredients in the broth-it has malt barley so they are not gluten free.
—Guest Tammy Jones


Tokyo joes is my favorite gluten free place to eat on the run. They are in or near many malls. I love chick fil a also!
—Guest susan

TACO BELL does offer GF choices!

Taco Bell will put steak in a hard shell (GF), also the cantina bowls and tostada are good GF choices. The taco sauces except for the Fire Sauce (the soy sauce is made with wheat - almost all soy sauces do).
—Guest Susano

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Do You Eat at Fast Food Restaurants with Gluten-Free Options?

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  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity
  4. Socializing/Dining Out
  5. Eating in Restaurants
  6. Gluten-Free Fast Food Restaurants - Reader Experiences at Gluten-Free Fast Food Restaurants

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