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A Handy Collection of Fast Food Allergen Statements

Sunset at the Pier

3 1/2 months ago, had someone asked me if I consumed soy, I would have said, “No. Except when I occasionally eat Japanese food…edamame and/or sushi with soy sauce.” I didn’t eat tofu and I didn’t drink soy milk or use soy-based products.

Yet, in January of this year, I figured out I was allergic to soy (after already dealing with an allergy to milk products for a year). Momentarily, I wasn’t too worried about eliminating soy from my diet, because I thought I didn’t eat very much of it. However, since then I’ve rapidly discovered soy is in nearly everything I used to eat regularly. I threw away bags and bags of items containing soy from my pantry. I am a very busy gal – single mom with a full time job – so cooking my meals at home was not always a convenient option…So…I guess you would have called me a fast foodie, even though I did my best to order the healthiest options at various fast food restaurants. Little did I know, I was allergic to ingredients in every meal I ordered at every fast food restaurant I frequented.

It turns out it is quite difficult to avoid soy and milk while eating at most of these joints. Soy is a common ingredient in the sauces, marinades, salad dressings, seasonings, frying oil, and breads. Plus, the meats are marinated in sauces with soy, and they likely come from animals that are soy-fed. I JUST learned that super-allergic-to-soy people can get anaphylactic and need an epi-pen from ingesting meat and eggs from soy-fed animals (Thank you, SprinklesandAllergies). Of course, most of the entrees also contain contain milk ingredients, making it even harder for many of us to order.

You will see, most fast food restaurants will not have a soy- and milk-free option for those of us who need it. However, someone pouring over the ingredients list and allergy statements at each of these restaurants (see below) might be able to get creative with what they order. You could really test the idea of them “Making it your way”, but beware of cross contamination with the grill and frying oil. I’ve only found one place to easily order a presumably soy- and milk-free entree: In-N-Out (see my blog about this: Hooray for In-N-Out! Soy- and Milk-Free Options).

Anyway, after spending WAY too much time figuring out how/if I could eat fast food anymore, I have collected nutritional and allergy statements for the major fast food joints I frequented. I thought I’d post these statements in one easy-to-access place in case someone else is on the same journey as I am. It turns out, after all my research,  I’ve found I really can’t eat at fast food joints anymore (save In-N-Out) and so I do my best to cook at home, bring my lunch to work, and order carefully at non-fast-food restaurants.

I hope this list is helpful to someone out there! This list will continue to grow as time goes on and I collect more nutrition and allergy statements (in pdf form – feel free to download and print these). I’ve learned that not all fast food restaurants have allergy statements on their websites…that really must change. Don’t you think?

For more detailed tips about eating allergy-free while dining out, I recommend the site, AllergyEats – Your Online Guide to Allergy Friendly Restaurants.

In Wellness!

Nutrition and Allergy Statements for Major Fast Food Restaurants

Arby’s Nutrition and Allergen Info – Also see my blog about Arby’s: Can’t Avoid Soy and Milk at Arby’s

Burger King Product List for those with Gluten Sensitivities

Burger King Menu and Ingredients List 

Carl’s Junior Menu. As of 4-29-12, Carl’s Junior has not posted a allergy statement, however, they do post “Alternative Options” which includes a gluten-free burger.

Green Burrito Allergen Info

In-N-Out Food Quality Statement – Also see my blog about In-N-Out: Hooray for In-N-Out! Soy- and Milk-Free Options

Jack In The Box Ingredients List – Also see my blog about Jack in the Box: “Welcome to Jack in the Box. May I take your order?”

McDonalds Ingredients List – Also see my blog about McDonald’s: McDonald’s Soyland

Popeye’s Nutrition and Allergens List

Taco Bell Allergens List

Wendy’s Allergens List


Blogs and Websites I Love

I just created a new page: Blogs and Websites I Love.

I will be storing all my favorite links to blogs and websites about allergies, living soy-free, living dairy-free, and other relevant topics at this new page. Visit the “Blogs and Websites I Love” tab regularly to check out the new resources.

In Wellness!

 

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

JackInTheBox

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.”

Sigh.

“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 www.jackinthebox.com/pdf/Ingredients.pdf.

  • 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.”

Sigh.