McDonald’s

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McDonald'sMcDonald’s recently introduced Buttermilk Crispy Chicken to their menu and it is fried in a common fryer with their dairy-free chicken items, making them unsafe for the severely allergic. Please use caution.

Also, as noted by a reader, the French Fries ingredients are not listed in the nutritional information but are listed under the description of French Fries on the main website. They do contain dairy. The ingredients state:

“FRENCH FRIES

Ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor [Wheat and Milk Derivatives]*), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (Maintain Color), Salt. *Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.Contains: WHEAT, MILK.”

The Chicken McNuggets® ingredients are also listed on the main website instead of under Nutritional Information. They do not contain dairy but are fried in a common fryer with the Buttermilk Crispy Chicken.

Edit: December 2015–“McDonald’s USA is now adding real milk to the folded eggs served in its biscuit sandwiches, bagel sandwiches and McGriddle sandwiches served in restaurants located in the Biloxi/Gulfport and Laurel/Hattisburg areas in Mississippi.

McDonald’s wants to make customers with milk allergies aware of this change in the egg recipe in these locations so they can make whatever decisions they deem appropriate when visiting McDonald’s restaurants.

For more information, please contact the McDonald’s Customer Service Center at (800) 244-6227.”

No Dairy (Milk) Ingredients (use caution due to cross-contamination potential)

  • Burgers – Hamburger and Quarter Pounder®
  • Chicken – The fried chicken items listed are dairy free but are fried in a common fryer with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken. McChicken, Premium Crispy Chicken Classic Sandwich, Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich, Southern Style Crispy Chicken Sandwich,  and Chicken Selects® Premium Breast Strips, Chicken McNuggets®
  • Pork – McRib
  • Sauces – Tangy Barbeque, Sweet Chili, Honey Mustard, Sweet ‘N Sour, Chipotle Barbeque, and Hot Mustard
  • Salads – Side Salad
  • Salad Dressings – Newman’s Own® Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Breakfast – English Muffin, Sausage Patty, and Scrambled Eggs
  • Desserts – Apple Slices, Baked Hot Apple Pie, and McDonaldland® Cookies

Special Order (use caution due to cross-contamination potential):

  • Burgers (hold the cheese) – McDouble, Big Mac (the Big Mac Sauce is dairy-free, but it does contain egg)
  • Chicken (hold the cheese)The fried chicken items listed are dairy free but are fried in a common fryer with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken. Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich, Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich, Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap®-Crispy, Chipotle BBQ Snack Wrap®-Grilled, Honey Mustard Snack Wrap®-Crispy, and Honey Mustard Snack Wrap®-Grilled
  • Chicken (hold the sauce or request mayo instead of ranch)The fried chicken items listed are dairy free but are fried in a common fryer with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken. Premium Grilled Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich and Premium Crispy Chicken Ranch BLT Sandwich
  • Salads (hold the cheese & choose from a non-dairy dressing (above)) – The fried chicken items listed are dairy free but are fried in a common fryer with Buttermilk Crispy Chicken. Premium Southwest Salad, Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken, Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken, Premium Bacon Ranch Salad, Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken, Premium Bacon Ranch Salad with Crispy Chicken, Premium Asian Salad, and Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken
  • Breakfast (hold the cheese and butter) – Egg McMuffin®, Egg White Delight McMuffin®, Bacon and Egg Bagel, Sausage McMuffin®, Sausage and Egg McMuffin®, Plain Bagel, and Oatmeal ordered without Cream

Restaurant Website: www.mcdonalds.com

Ingredient & Allergen Information: http://nutrition.mcdonalds.com/getnutrition/ingredientslist.pdf

*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: October 9, 2016

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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