Are McDonald’s fries safe for dairy allergy?

McDonald’s french fries have been listed to contain a dairy ingredient for a few years now. If you read the nutritional information from McDonalds regarding their fries, you will find that the “natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients”. This is a concern for those with a dairy allergy.

My daughter has a severe dairy allergy and is almost 12 years old. Her IgE score is well into the twenties, yet she has not had any adverse reaction to McDonald’s fries. With any exposure to allergens, one can never know for certain how the immune system will react. However, my daughter’s first signs that she has had some cross-contamination exposure are usually ringing in her ears and stomach upset.

She has never had such a reaction to McDonald’s fries and has consumed them on many occasions in many different locations. It may be a combination of the hydrolization process that breaks the milk protein down into smaller chunks and the exposure to intense heat during the frying process that prevents the body from reacting to the broken-down protein chains in the dairy ingredient.

Whatever the case, we are always vigilant for any signs of distress when she eats McDonald’s fried, but relieved that the restaurant chain has standard procedures for the handling and preparation of their food. Ordering fries from other establishments is far more risky, even after inquiring about other products that they may cook in the same oil as their french fries.

If you have a child with a dairy allergy, what has your experience been with McDonald’s fries?

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