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“Welcome to Jack in the Box. May I take your order?”


Jack (outside of his box, apparently)

After work today, I was hungry. It was the kind of hungry that could not wait and I knew with all the errands I was about to do I would not have time to stop at home for a snack. So I found myself salivating at the menu at a Jack-In-The-Box drive through.

“Welcome to Jack in the Box. May I take your order?”

I acknowledge what I was about to ask the drive-thru lady was somewhat unfair. I’m pretty sure I already knew the answer to this question before I asked. Speaking into to the Box, I asked it anyway, “Do you know if your crispy chicken strips are made with soy?”

Silence. Then I hear, “No”.

A moment of hope! She continues, “They’re made with chicken.”

“Right,” I say, “But, the breading on the outside…Is there any soy in there?”

Ok, people, stop laughing at me. I know I should have stopped after the first question.

“No, the breading is made with bread.”


“Ok, never mind. I’ll just have an order of fries.”

She gave me my total and as I waited patiently behind another car, I grabbed my iPhone and did a Google search on “Jack in the Box Ingredients.” I selected the appropriate link and a pdf of the ingredients list for every item on their menu appeared. After scrolling through several pages, I found the ingredients list for French Fries:

  • Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Contains One Or More Of The Following Oils: Canola, Soybean, Cottonseed, Sunflower, Corn), Potato Starch – Modified. Contains 2% or less of Dextrose, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate), Rice Flour, Salt, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate Added To Maintain Natural Color, Tapioca Dextrin, Xanthan Gum. Cooked in All Vegetable Frying Oil (High oleic canola oil and dimethylpolysiloxane). 

Shoot. I’m likely allergic to their fries. By the time I got to the window, I didn’t care how my body will revolt against me. I wanted those hot salty fries and I wanted them now. And yes, they were finger-licking good. (Note: since then I have conceded it wasn’t worth it and my skin hates me. Sigh.)

Upon further investigation of the menu when I got home, the crispy chicken strips were indeed made with soy. Although…I should say there were two sets of ingredients for this – one recipe contained soy and the other did not – how do we know which one we’re getting when we order?! I’ll just assume it will be the recipe containing soy and avoid it altogether.

So, is there anything I can eat there? That is, may I order something soy and milk free? Am I the only one who wants to know these things?

Assuming I’m not, I’ll scour entire menu, categorizing the entrees into items that contain milk (no soy), items that contain soy (no milk), items that contain soy and milk, and items that are soy and milk-free. Please know that the menu may change at any time and I may misinterpret or overlook something. If you must eat something at Jack in the Box, please verify the ingredients list for yourself at

  • Jack in the Box items that contain milk (no soy): Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Provolone Cheese, Real Cheddar Cheese, Sliced Real Swiss Cheese, Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese, Chiquita Apple Bites with caramel, Coffee Creamer (Half & Half), Milk, Minute Maid Banana Smoothie, Minute Maid Mango Smoothie, Minute Maid Strawberry Smoothie, Sour Cream
  • Jack in the Box items that contain soy (no milk): Bacon Ranch Dressing, Barbecue Dipping Sauce, Beef Regular Taco, Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, Bakery Style Bun, Jumbo Bun, Regular bun, Julienne Chicken, Chipotle Sauce, Cinnamon Sugar, Creamy Italian Sauce, Creamy Ranch Sauce, Egg Rolls, Fill Fillet, French Fries, Hash Brown Sticks, Heinz Mayonnaise, Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, Low Fat Balsamic Dressing, Mayo-Onion Sauce, Mini Churros, Mini Funnel Cake, Mini Pancakes, Seasoned Curly Fries, Secret Sauce, Bulk Secret Sauce, Sirloin Beef Patty Seasoning, Soy Sauce, Spicy Corn Sticks, Sweet ‘N Sour Dipping Sauce, Tartar Sauce, Teriyaki Dipping Sauce, Teriyaki Dipping Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Flour Tortilla
  • Jack in the Box items that contain soy and milk: Artisan Bread, Toasted Biscuit, Butter Flavored Vegetable Oil, Buttermilk Hous Dipping Sauce, Cheesecake, American Sliced Cheese, Cheddar Cheese Sauce, Sliced Swiss-Style Cheese, Chicken Fajita Patty, Grilled Fillet Chicken, Homestyle Fillet Chicken, Chicken Patty, Spicy Breast Fillet Chicken, Crispy Chicken Strips, Grilled Chicken Strips, Chocolate Overload Cake, Creamy Southwest Dressing, Croissant, Croutons, Fried Egg, Scrambled Egg, Ice Cream Shake Mix, Lit Ranch Dressing, Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Grilled Onions, Onion Rings, Oreo Cookie Crumbs, Peppercorn Mayo, Pride Margarine Spread, Ranch Dressing, Sirloin Beef Patty, Grilled Sourdough Bread, Steak Strips, Stuffed Jalapeños, Sun Dried Tomato Sauce, Whipped Topping, White Cheese Sauce

So…what can we eat at Jack in the Box without invoking an allergic reaction? Are you really ready for this? Once you know, there’s no turning back…

  • Jack in the Box items that are soy and milk-free: Bacon pieces, Bacon slices, Black Beans, Blackberry Syrup, Broccoli, Caramel Syrup, Carrots, Chocolate Syrup, Roasted Corn, Cucumbers, Egg, Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Dipping Sauce, Grape Jelly, Sliced Ham, Hamburger Patty, Heinz Ketchup, Heinz Malt Vinegar, Hot Taco Sauce, Iceberg/Romain Blend Lettuce, Sliced Jalapeños, Log Cabin Syrup, Mango Flavored Syrup, Maraschino Cherry, Minute Maid Lemonade, Mustard, French’s Mustard, Sliced Red Onions, Original Syrup, Peach Fravored Syrup, Pepper Packet, Dill Pickels, Pita Bread made with Whole Grain, Pork Chorizo, Potato Wedges, Raspberry Flavored Syrup, Rice, Sliced Salami, Fire Roasted Salsa, Salt, Sausage Crumbles, Sausage Patty, Splenda, Spring Mix, Strawberry Jelly, Strawberry Syrup, Sugar Packet, Powdered Sugar, Sweet ‘N Low, Taco Sauce, Tomatoes, Sliced Turkey, Vanilla Syrup, Zesty Marinara Dipping Sauce, soft drinks
So wait. Did I just discover that those of us allergic to soy and milk cannot order any entree from Jack in the Box as-is?! The buns/croissants contain soy. The chicken is marinated in soy. The sirloin seasoning contains soy.
The good news is, we can have a lot of condiments. And lettuce. And a sugar packet. I can just see it now…

“Welcome to Jack in the Box. May I take your order?”

“Hello. Sorry, I’m going to be a problem customer…I’d like a hamburger patty. Yes, just the patty. And don’t season it. With anything. That’s right, I can’t have the sirloin beef patty seasoning. Maybe could they just salt it a little? Thanks. Also, I’m allergic to the buns. Do you think you can put it in a pita? Great, Thanks. Can you throw a handful of condiments in the bag? Oh no, no, not the mayonnaise. Never mind. One Catsup packet will do. May I have a side of Carrots? No, I can’t have the ranch dressing. Do you think you can give me a side of a couple Maraschino cherries? No, no. I’m not joking…yes, I’d be happy to speak to the manager.”


12 responses »

  1. Pingback: A Handy Collection of Fast Food Allergen Statements « A Soy and Milk-Free Life

  2. You know, Rena, I just went to the Chick-Fil-a website and read that their chickens eat corn, soy, wheat….I wonder if cows do as well….sometimes I feel trapped in this world of “FDA” approved “food.” Chick-Fil-a does fry their fries in peanut oil, though, unless the sodium seasoning has soy, that may be soy free. Do we have Chick-Fil-a in So Cal?

    • Right. How can we know what the cows and chickens eat and how that effects our health as well?

      Yes, there are Chick-Fil-a’s in So Cal. Really good to know that they fry their fries in peanut oil. I’m surprised by this, actually. Peanut allergies are very common – and severe. I carry an epi-pen for my son in case of peanut or walnut exposure.

  3. LOL This blog should be called, “The Adventures of an Allergic Algorithm.”

  4. Terrible story… Wonderfully written… I love you 🙂

  5. An oasis in a sea of despair! Thank God the Zesty Marinara Dipping Sauce is safe!

  6. My Dear Friend, I believe you were born to blog. This was just the right mixture of information, humor, sarcasm and pathos. 🙂

    The only two things I ever eat at JITB are the tacos and onion rings. I’m sad to know that I can’t have them anymore. But that’s probably better for my waistline anyway . . .

    Can you tell if I got subscribed twice to the blog? I’m getting two email notifications for each one.


    • Hi Francie! I know…the list is depressing, isn’t it? Maybe we can find soy-free onion rings elsewhere? Or maybe that’s too much to ask.

      I accidentally sent an announcement about this blog post twice last night (forgive me, I’m still getting used to the Twitter-Facebook-Wordpress relationship). I’m not sure about the other times!

      Thanks so much for your encouragement, Francie!

  7. Wow! Who knew that the earth is 99% made of salty soy milk products. This is a very detailed and helpful list.

    Specialty diets of many types seem to be real challenges. My step-father has a severe sodium diet. Eating out is a real challenge, meaning, an Italian restaurant only if they have steaks. Fast food is a deep dark history. Never any Asian restaurant of any kind, and everywhere else is just about as narrow as your experience.

    My wife and I made a similar sodium diet adjustment a couple years ago. It was a real eye opening experience. Fortunately, there are no allergies, we just sometimes really feel it in our bodies when we eat high sodium foods.

    I have come to realize that those with glutton-free diets have significant challenges. The good news seems that there is becoming a greater awareness of some of these diet challenges. Some businesses are responding to a greater demand by adding specialty diet menu options. I am still waiting for the reduced sodium Chinese restaurant to open soon.

    Maybe I should open a soy/milk/glutton-free/vegetarian/low sodium/low-cholestoral/MSG-free/Sulfite-free restaurant, and we can all meet up for a sugar packet or two, paired with water. 🙂

    • Sounds about right. Water and a sugar packet. But then I’m also hypoglycemic and really should avoid the sugar…so maybe I’ll just join you for the water…that is, only if it’s filtered.

  8. Whoa!!!! I can’t tolerate soy, this is fascinating! I’ll have my hamburger patty sans seasoning, wrapped in iceberg lettuce


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