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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    McDonald's sued over fries ingredients

    CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- And another thing about McDonald's fries: They're not gluten-free.

    Not long after disclosing that its french fries contain more trans fat than thought, McDonald's Corp. said Monday that wheat and dairy ingredients are used to flavor the popular menu item -- an acknowledgment it had not previously made.

    The presence of those substances can cause allergic or other medical reactions in food-sensitive consumers.

    McDonald's had said until recently that its fries were free of gluten and milk or wheat allergens and safe to eat for those with dietary issues related to the consumption of dairy items. But the fast-food company quietly added "Contains wheat and milk ingredients" this month to the french fries listing on its Web site.

    Full story:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/d...ld.s.fries.ap/



    ALSO:



    CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- McDonald's Corp. faces at least three lawsuits claiming the fast-food giant misled the public after it acknowledged earlier this week its french fries contain milk and wheat ingredients.

    Full story: http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/02/19/fr....ap/index.html

  2. #2
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    Aug 2003
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    5,335
    This is what gets me. If you want good nutrition, McDonalds is probably not for you~ I go there for all the good tasting stuff. I don't want to know what's in there!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2004
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    10,829
    Thanks, SimonSays, for posting that.

    My daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease last May, and has to have a 100% gluten-free diet, which means no wheat, barley, rye or oats. Since her diagnosis, I have LIVED on a website for Celiacs and learned so much. One of the first things I learned was that "eating out is risky." In fact, so much so, that if you're discussing eating restaurant food, they want you to always mention that. Many people with Celiac just avoid eating in restaurants or eating food prepared in restaurants due to cross-contamination of kitchens and food preparation, or questionable ingredients.

    One of the first nice things we learned was that McDonald's was one of the few restaurants that "normally" have dedicated fryers for their fries; meaning, no other deep fried items are cooked in those fryers. So, if you didn't worry about the cross-contamination from wheat flour being airborne and landing in the fryers for the fries, you could eath the fries. (Of course, they said that you ned to ask the local mgmt first, just to make sure they were dedicated fryers in that restaurant. Ours here, were. Same with Wendy's.)

    On this Celiac message board, the issue of the McDonald's fries came up about February 6th. It's been a wild time over there now! But, one of the physicians who kinda moderates the board did contact McDonald's to try to find out the real scoop.

    It turns out there is nothing new as to the fries or their cooking process. However, due to the new labeling laws as of 1/1/06, McDonald's is trying to do the good-faith effort and now mentioned that one of their suppliers does use a type of oil for parboiling the potatoes before they are frozen and then shipped to McDonald's. IIRC (so not 100% fact), they're claiming the gluten protein in the natural flavoring added to that oil, should be eliminated due to the cooking processes. That seems to be the main issue.

    So, the question now becomes - if you aren't supposed to eat gluten (from wheat products) or milk for those who can't eat milk ingredients, what do you do? Many people on that specialized website state they will not eat the McDonald fries now, as they are THAT sensitive to it; others are saying, hey, I've eaten those fries for years and never got sick, and my annual lab results are within normal range. It's been kinda devisive over there.

    Myself, for now, will allow my daughter to continue to at least get the fries periodically. She is 16 years old, and that is one of the few "treats" she can have to feel somewhat like a normal teenager out with her friends. At this point, they don't appear to make her sick. Of course, it should be done in moderation, just like anything else. It was the physician that said if you think about the miniscule particles that may be left on those few fries, that it is a balancing of "how far to I obsess over this?" It's tough. For some, they can tell right away they've been "contaminated." Others don't seem to be affected by contamination quite so severely.

    Anyone else here have to do with severe diet restrictions such as these? My heart goes out to all who do. And although Celiacs do have to be so very, very careful about ingredients and contamination in kitchens, etc. (and even types of lotions, makeup, shampoos, etc. - you'd be surprised!), it is not immediate life-threatening like some with peanut or shellfish allergies. THAT has got to be so very scary for all family members.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2005
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    1,395
    That's the first I've heard of Celiac Disease, it must be extremely difficult to determine what's safe and what isn't... especially when it's even in some non food items. I'm so glad the internet is available to make researching easier and to give people the ability to connect to others with the same medical issues.

    A friend of mine has a daughter with a very severe peanut and tomato allergy, and my brother in law also has a severe allergy to peanuts. You almost have no choice but to be paranoid because it can be anywhere.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    10,829
    Quote Originally Posted by SimonSays
    That's the first I've heard of Celiac Disease, it must be extremely difficult to determine what's safe and what isn't... especially when it's even in some non food items. I'm so glad the internet is available to make researching easier and to give people the ability to connect to others with the same medical issues.

    A friend of mine has a daughter with a very severe peanut and tomato allergy, and my brother in law also has a severe allergy to peanuts. You almost have no choice but to be paranoid because it can be anywhere.
    Well, up until May 2, 2005, add me to the list of people who had never heard of Celiac Disease! It is tough. We've learned to cope, but every single meal must be carefully checked. And my weekends are now spent trying to find alternative or substitute recipes for things that we've eaten for years. Hey, it's been a challenge, but it sure feels good when I master a new substitute recipe! So many things that I used to take for granted are now no-no's, such as cans of condensed soups for casseroles, certain condiments, etc. You'd be surprised what items contain wheat!

    Celiacs primarily use flours made out of corn, rice, tapioca and potato, and some use bean flours. And of course, these do not have the same baking/texture properties as good ol' regular wheat flour. So when my son had his chocolate birthday cake, I tried to make a gluten-free chocolate cake for my DD. The taste and texture was, well, okay, but not the same, and it was about 1" thick, haha. Kinda like a brownie. I'll have to work on that some more! I have been successful in making some pretty decent chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins. And they actually have an awesome gluten-free brownie mix that I order on-line (at about $6 for one batch of brownies ) that is pretty good. My daughter even said one time, "What am I going to do when I get married? I can't have a wedding cake!" I said we'd just make brownies instead

    I feel for those with the peanut allergies, as you mentioned. And tomatoes - that would be tough for me, I love Mexican food and salsa's, etc.



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