McDonald’s

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Updated 2017! McDonald’s menu has shifted in recent years due to normal ingredient changes and some dairy supplier contracts. They now use real butter, have several buttermilk-based products, and use dairy just a little more liberally. Some of their classic items are still dairy-free by ingredients, but the risk of potential cross contamination with dairy is a bit higher. The quick list below is for the United States. For allergen information and menus for Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia, see the links further down the page.

McDonald's- Dairy-Free Menu Items and Allergen Notes

No Dairy (Milk-Based) Ingredients (see disclaimer below)

  • Burgers – Hamburger
  • Chicken (see Allergen Note below) – McChicken, Chicken McNuggets
  • Pork – McRib
  • Sauces – Honey Mustard Sauce, Sweet ‘N Sour Sauce, Signature Sauce, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Sweet Onion BBQ Sauce, Onion Reduction Sauce, Big Mac Sauce, Cilantro Lime Glaze, Tartar Sauce, Mayonnaise Dressing, Ketchup, Mustard, Herb Vinaigrette Sauce, McRib Sauce
  • Individual Sandwich & Salad Items: 100% Beef Patty, McChicken Patty (see Allergen Note below), McRib Pork Patty, Homestyle Roll, Sesame Seed Bun, Artisan Roll, Big Mac Bun, Regular Bun, Thick Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, Crispy Onions, Southwest Vegetable Blend, Chili Lime Tortillas Strips, Grill Seasoning
  • Salads – Side Salad
  • Salad Dressings – Newman’s Own Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette (we were unable to confirm other options)
  • Breakfast Items – English Muffin, Sausage Patty, Egg Whites, Scrambled Eggs, Breakfast Steak Pattie, Bagel, Flour Tortilla
  • Desserts – Baked Apple Pie, Apple Slices

Other Allergen Notes: The McChicken and Chicken Nuggets are cooked in a shared fryer with their Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, which contains milk. McDonald’s French fries (in the U.S.) do contain a very small amount of milk, which is why they are not on the above list. Also, their English Muffins, Bagels, and other breakfast breads are buttered. You can order these without  butter. Several of their egg products are made without dairy, but the Folded Eggs do contain milk. Because McDonald’s now uses real butter,  you may need to inquire on cross-contamination issues with the grill (and particularly with any buns and bread items), if concerned.

More Details from McDonald’s

Allergen Disclaimer from McDonald’s:  As part of our commitment to you, we provide the most current ingredient information available from our food suppliers for the eight most common allergens. However, we also want you to know that despite taking precautions, normal kitchen operations may involve some shared cooking and preparation areas, equipment and utensils, and the possibility exists for your food items to come in contact with other food products, including allergens.

Restaurant Website: www.mcdonalds.com

U.S. Ingredient & Allergen Information: www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/about-our-food/nutrition-calculator.html

Canada Ingredient & Allergen Information: www.mcdonalds.com/ca/downloads/ingredients-list-en.pdf and www.mcdonalds.com/ca/en-ca/about-our-food/allergens.html

U.K. Ingredient & Allergen Information: www.mcdonalds.com/content/dam/uk/pdf/nutrition/allergen-booklet-20171115.pdf

Ireland Ingredient & Allergen Information: www.mcdonalds.ie/iehome/food/food_quality/nutrition_choices.html

Australia Ingredient & Allergen Information: mcdonalds.com.au/maccas-food/nutrition

*The above information was supplied by the corresponding restaurant via their website, customer service, or other published nutritional information.  Ingredients and menu offerings are constantly changing in the food service industry, and can be subject to interpretation.  For this reason, Go Dairy Free does not guarantee nor take responsibility for the accuracy of this information.  If severe allergies or intolerances are a concern, contact the restaurant directly before purchasing or consuming one of their products.  Cross-contamination of potential food allergens should always be considered a possibility in a fast food restaurant. 

Last Updated: November 23, 2017

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

64 Comments

  1. Their nutrition info says fries are “just fries” but if you go to McDonald’s site in the “how fries are made” section. They tell you that the beef flavoring has milk product in it. Their fries are hardly just fries. 🙁

    • Thank you for telling us where that information is on the McDonald’s site, Brittany! While it’s tricky to find, we did know that McDonald’s fries have dairy, which is why we don’t list them on our site.

  2. You don’t have their chicken nuggets listed, but going on their web page for allergy information they do not say they contain milk. Do you know otherwise or is that just an oversight?

  3. So I am a former McDonalds employee and yes we do try to keep from cross contamination from happening but I will tell you that it doesn’t matter if you order all of your food without butter. The sausage and eggs are all cooked on the grill that butter has already been sprayed on numerous times. We do not clean the grills after cooking foods we just squeegee them. The only things you can really eat off the breakfast menu and be sure not to get sick is oatmeal no cream, english muffin no butter, or the apple slices. I’m not trying to bash on mcdonalds just trying to keep everyone from getting sick like I did.

  4. The new chicken wraps are yummy and dairy free if you say no cheese and no ranch or garlic sauce. I subbed them for mayo. Just thought I would share since they are a new product. I had to ask them to verify for me.

  5. The last two times that I have gotten really sick was after eating the sausage patties. I made it a habit of steering clear of the Big M. I have not eaten there since 2008 and life is good.

  6. I just attempted to eat at McDonalds yesterday and asked about an allergen pamphlet. The manager brought me a 3 ring binder which clearly listed their french fries as having dairy. Also, every single one of their breakfast items contains dairy. It all comes pre-mixed so you can’t even ask for it to be cheese free and actually get it cheese free. We discovered this a few weeks ago while traveling. Best bet is just to steer clear of McDonalds. 🙁

  7. Hi I am new to dairy free and have wondered in bread products if “Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate” is something to steer clear of?

    Its listed in the McDonalds buns and many breads I have looked into buying but it only lists wheat as an allergen…

  8. Can you tell me if the potatoes in the mcskillet has cheese? I’ve been ordering them without cheese but one of the workers said they did. I couldn’t see why or where the cheese would be at?

    • Yes, they do. We asked to have it without cheese, and upon inspection, found cheese. The employee informed us that its all pre-packaged so they can’t remove cheese. They can only refrain from adding more cheese.

  9. Karolina Palma on

    I am on antibiotics that state to stay clear of dairy products for 2 hours before and 2 hours after taking them. I love McDonald’s coffee with creamer, and i was wondering if the creamer was a dairy or non-dairy product? Please help, thanks!

  10. When ordering egg mcmuffins please remember to specify no butter. Normally the English muffins are brushed with butter when they come out if the bun toaster. (Same with English muffins served with the Big Breakfast) You can hold the cheese all you want and still get exposed to dairy by accident.

  11. Hello Alisa i was wondering if you know by any chance if chicken nuggets and fries at Mcdonalds contain any type of dairy. I have looked everywhere and found websites that say they do, and say they do not. I am critical Lactose intolerant with only 6% enzymes and can be damaged if I eat any of these products. Please help! Thanks!

    • Michael, that is probably because they are different in the U.S. and Canada, so some will say it is dairy-free, while others will not. See the listing above if you are looking for U.S. and the link to their website for current allergy details. If looking for Canada, that is a different listing here on our site.

    • I’m so sorry, but according to the company, the ice cream is most definitely dairy. Here are the ingredients from their site: Milk, sugar, cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono- and diglycerides, guar gum, dextrose, sodium citrate, artificial vanilla flavor, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, disodium phosphate, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate. It isn’t a soy ice cream.

      • ChristyInOregon on

        I too found that the McDonalds ice cream never makes me sick; even “tested” this by getting a cone every day this week 🙂 and had no intolerance or allergy symptoms.

  12. Oh By the way here is the listed ingredients of the sausage patty
    I am new to being dairy free so is there a by-prouduct i am missing or unaware of?

    Sausage Patty

    Pork, water, seasoning (salt, corn syrup solids, spices, dextrose, sugar, spice extractives), preservatives (BHA, citric acid and propyl gallate).
    (copy & pasted from website)

    • Hi Jeana – Thank you for the update! The ingredient list you are looking at from McDonald’s is more recent than my last update (I put the last revision date at the bottom of each fast food listing). I’ve added the sausage patty which does appear to be made without dairy ingredients.

      Keep in mind, cross-contamination in fast food restaurants is very likely. If you are sure you had a dairy reaction, it was likely due to cross-contamination with another dairy product. I’ve never seen a fast food chain where they could say there was “no way” it came in contact. I have to agree though that coffee seems unlikely.

  13. I have a question….. on the website for McDonald’s they say that the sausage patty is dairy free, but it is not listed above as a breakfast food that is dairy free….. in my experience i tryed it in an egg & sausage mcmuffin hold the cheese (with a small black coffee) and had a reaction….so the next time all i ordered was a hamburger (have not had a reaction to the regular hamburger with extra onions and mustard) and a black coffee…. had a reaction. then one day i got just a coffee and had a reaction…..when i went back into the same location for lunch (my son had an all day state competition closest place was Mickey D’s) i asked if the creamer or anything else with dairy or dairy by-prouducts could have come in contact…. they said no there is no way.

    here is my question….
    has anyone had a reaction to the sausage patties or the coffee???

    • I’ve had a problem with the sausage patties before but the reason why i assume is that there was a slice of cheese on it then scraped off. Many times I could see where that was the case.

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