What is gluten free at Mcdonald’s UK? Coeliac Safe?

8th June 2021
Blog post

Want to know what is gluten free at Mcdonald’s? Chips? Do they reuse oil that has been used to cook gluten-containing things? How about the Big Mac sauce? Milkshakes? Find out here!!

This information has been complied from: (1) Mcdonald’s website, (2) Emailing them and (3) Speaking to my local stores. Unfortunately they decided to be very vague but I’m going to do my best to be as clear as possible.

McDonald's - YouTube

Warning on Cross Contamination

The long and short of it is that there are several gluten free options at Mcdonalds but as with lots of places these days, they use the caveat that “due to our kitchen set up, we cannot guarantee that cross-contamination will not occur”. Mcdonald’s Source

I know how uncomfortable it can feel to eat somewhere with that line… you worry you could be doing the wrong thing and putting your health at risk. I thought it would be helpful to share what I do with regards to Mcdonald’s AND what the majority of my followers do too.

HOW I HANDLE THAT “RISK”:

As far as I can gather from speaking to my local stores, their set up means that the cross contamination risk is kept to a minimum and I am comfortable to eat there. Because of its franchise system, I think the set up across all Mcdonald’s UK stores is the same and therefore I do not ask every single store I visit about their procedures. That said, if you’re nervous, you should ask away 😉

HOW OTHERS DEAL WITH IT:

I asked my Instagram followers if they are comfortable to eat in Mcdonalds. 70% said yes so I’m not alone (and I wonder if that might be a little higher after reading this guide)! I then asked if they ALWAYS tell the store they are coeliac and only 20% said yes, so again I’m not alone there too…phew!!

All that said, it should be easy enough to ask the manager some basic questions and get comfortable each time. I kno lots of you DM’ed to say you do that too!

**FOR THE REST OF THIS BLOG POST I am going to assume we are comfortable with that cross contamination risk.**

CHIPS

Are the fries gluten free? Yes, they are cooked in dedicated fryers. Mcdonald’s Source Please note this is for the UK only. In the US, they contain wheat.

What is gluten free at Mcdonald's UK?

Do I need to worry about them reusing oil that might have had gluten-containing things in it? This concern first came from a message I saw on Facebook. The lady said the oil being used at Mcdonalds UK stores is filtered and reused, causing cross contamination concerns. BUT from what I’ve read and from speaking to my local store, it seems like the actual process they follow means the cross contamination risk would be tiny so its not a concern for me. Hopefully this will remove your concerns too…

  • How do you filter your frying oil to make sure it doesn’t contaminate your vegetarian products? All of McDonald’s U.K. restaurants filter vats in the same order and in sequence at least once a day. The vats are filtered in the following order: Fries and Veggie Dippers, Pies, Chicken, and Filet-o-Fish®. The unit is then cleaned before being used again.” Mcdonald’s Source
  • The Fries vat uses a dedicated filter box so isn’t mixed with the others at all” Mcdonald’s Source

OTHER MAINS

Are the Big Mac®s gluten free? The beef patty, Big Mac® sauce, pickles, onions and lettuce in the Big Mac® do not have any gluten containing ingredients. The bun contains gluten. You can request a burger without a bun. Mcdonald’s Source. Not the prettiest but you can always bring your own bun!

What is gluten free at Mcdonald's UK?

Does the Big Tasty sauce contain any wheat or gluten? There are no gluten or wheat containing ingredients in the Big Tasty Sauce served on its own. Mcdonald’s source

Are McDonald’s veggie goujons gluten free? Yes, without a bun. The  Pepper & Pesto Goujon itself has no gluten containing ingredients and is cooked in a separate fryer, away from other ingredients containing gluten. Mcdonalds Source

What is gluten free at Mcdonald's UK?

Are your chicken nuggets gluten free? NO! they contain wheat flour Mcdonalds Source

Are any of your milkshakes are gluten-free? Yes. In the U.K. the standard milkshakes (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and banana) have no gluten containing ingredients. Mcdonalds Sauce

BREAKFAST

What are the gluten free breakfast options? Hash Browns, Eggs, Back Bacon and the Sausage Patty Mcdonalds Source. I can highly recommend using 2 hash browns as a bun, sandwiching egg and a patty in the middle!

SIDES & DRINKS

Which sides are gluten free? Fruit Bags; Carrot Sticks and Shaker Side Salad® with Balsamic Dressing.

Which desserts and drinks are gluten free? Some McFlurry® desserts, such as the Crunchie and Dairy Milk McFlurry®. All of the permanent menu drinks are also free from ingredients containing gluten. Mcdonald’s Source

THE BIG QUESTION: Why don’t the UK have gluten free buns like the Netherlands?

According to Mcdonald’s: “The menus, and therefore the kitchen layout and equipment available in our restaurants located around the world vary. To offer gluten-free buns, we would need separate storage and toasting equipment in place to prevent cross-contamination, which many of our U.K. restaurants kitchens do not currently have the capacity to provide.” Mcdonald’s Source


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