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Hidden Gluten: French Fries June 21, 2010

Posted by Melonie Gallegos in Hidden Gluten.
Tags: ,

This is the most frustrating one for me because I love french fries! And potatoes are gluten free, as are many frozen french fries you’d buy from the grocery story. The problem can occur in some frozen grocery store fries and in most restaurants I’ve experienced. Here’s what to look for:

  • Coated Fries: Some prepackaged and many restaurant french fries are coated with ingredients that are not gluten free. One hidden ingredient to be aware of is modified food starch which may or may not contain gluten depending on how well the package is labeled. McDonald’s french fries are not gluten free they contain wheat outright. I believe In-N-Out french fries are gluten free. Since they do not have an online ingredients list I’ve contacted them to confirm.
  • Cross Contamination: This will very much depend on your level of sensitivity. If the restaurant fries anything breaded (calamari, chicken fingers, buffalo wings – yep this excludes most grills and brew houses) it’s not likely they use a separate fryer for their fries. Your fries will come cross contaminated with bits of flour all over them. Yummy, I know. Tummy, no.
  • In Mexican restaurants ask how they make their chili relleno. My grandma used to bake hers but others use a fryer. If they fry their chile relleno in the same place they fry your fry it’s a no go.

The Solution

Verify with the restaurant if their french fries are gluten free or cross contaminated (if that is an issue for you). And, read the labels on frozen potato products. Here’s a trick for reading labels:

  1. Look up ingredients online to plan your grocery list ahead of time.
  2. Once you’ve done that you might be thinking “scary” because there are often a ton of chemical sounding ingredients you’ve never heard of. Remember modified food starch is a no go. If in doubt look it up here to find if each unknown ingredient is safe or or forbidden. Or move on to a more natural brand. Each brand and each brand’s product will be different. Ore Ida’s Skinless Fast Fries contain the hidden modified food starch ingredient. But, their Steak Fries do not.

I wonder why they have to mess with a good thing in the first place. Good luck out there!



1. Is it or isn’t it gluten free? In N Out French Fries « Life Gluten Free - July 19, 2010

[…] follow up to a previous post on hidden gluten in fast food and prepackaged french […]

2. Johna827 - August 1, 2014

We’re a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. dkdebackeegc

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