Does Maccas have anything gluten free?

Does Maccas have anything gluten free?

Depending on your age at the time of diagnosis what is gluten free at Maccas could have been the first, or the last thing on your mind. While McDonald’s isn’t the epitome of good or healthy food it certainly is convenient, ubiquitous and for the younger folk, something to smile about.

Please note, this article is about McDonald’s in Australia, this is why I’ve used the popular nickname Maccas. Ingredients for McDonald’s are sourced locally and recipes do vary between countries to suit local tastes.

If you are looking up ingredients for a menu item for the wrong country you could miss out on a suitable item, or worse, eat something that contains an allergen.

Always use the Australian McDonalds website when checking the latest ingredients. Nutrition and allergens at McDonald’s Australia

Related content

What is McDonald’s stance on allergens?

McDonald’s does not claim to offer any gluten free products, nor to they offer any item as allergen free. Like any restaurant kitchen there is a chance of cross contamination and they do not make any guarantees.

The following is taken from the nutrition information on their website.

No food items are sold as allergen free.
As we operate working kitchens please be aware that there is always a risk that traces of allergens may be transferred to ingredients during storage or preparation of food in our kitchens. McDonald’s
Restaurants are therefore unable to guarantee that any food item sold is free from traces of allergens.

I feel this is quite typical of any restaurant, but as always it is a personal choice. Some may choose only to dine in restaurants that are 100% gluten free, and that is absolutely fine.

As always, ask questions where you feel necessary to reassure yourself before you order.

Nutrition guide at Maccas

The nutrition guides are split up into several categories making it nice and easy to download. You can also read them easily on your phone as they are available as a PDF. I have downloaded this information to double check I can safely eat something on my way to a McDonald’s.

Allergens in the ingredients are highlighted in bold. Below the ingredients there is also a summary of allergens and details of potential or actual cross contamination risks. Take a look yourself on their website nutrition and allergens at McDonald’s Australia

How to use this guide

I want to stress that this is a guide for identifying gluten free items at Maccas in Australia. Menus at any restaurant are subject to change at any time and McDonald’s is no exception. Use the link above to take you to the ingredients page for McDonalds Australia.

This article was published in May 2023. Depending on when you read this, ingredients and menu items may have changed, so after you read this double check on their website.

Savoury gluten free at Maccas

Fries! Yes, by ingredient the fries at McDonald’s Australia are gluten free.

Now, the important thing as always is the use of a dedicated fryer. Most, if not all, McDonald’s restaurants in Australia cook their fries separately to their nuggets, and other gluten containing items.

Like anywhere else you would eat, just ask the question, “Is there a dedicated fryer for the chips?”

The same applies to the hash browns at McDonalds. There’s no wheat, dairy or egg in the hash browns at Maccas (only allergen is may contain for sulphites). However, they do carry the same warning as the fries regarding shared fryers.

Typically the fries and hash browns share the same fryer – making them safe. Just double check in store.

Maccas fries and a hash brown.
Both gluten free by ingredient!

Sauces

I would have thought most of the sauces at Maccas are gluten free, but nope! Here’s what you can eat

  • Sweet mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Aioli
  • Tartare sauce
  • Hotcake syrup

Gluten free desserts at Maccas

It shocks me how many people don’t know the McDonalds sundaes are gluten free. Guys you have been missing out!

  • Caramel sundae
  • Hot fudge sundae (my favourite)
  • Strawberry sundae (my husband’s go to)
  • Petit Miam strawberry (apparently you can get this at Maccas?)
  • Chocolate soft serve (limited edition from April 2023)

Now, I do see on Facebook groups discussions about cross contamination at the soft serve machine. Rumours circulating that ‘failed’ soft serve cones are dumped back into the machine somehow.

I find this very hard to believe as it would be a massive food hygiene breach. But again, if there are concerns ask in store. Overall, I have seen more people say this definitely does not occur (those that have worked in stores) than those that have said it does.

Gluten free drinks at McDonald’s

The number one item for me at McDonald’s is their chocolate shake. It’s a treat I’d only have a few times a year, usually when I’m feeling a bit down and need a pick me up. The sugar hit, plus what is essentially liquid ice cream is the ultimate mood booster.

Happily, when I needed to start eating gluten free, I could still get these! The shakes at Maccas all contain dairy, and may contain sulphites.

  • Vanilla shake
  • Chocolate shake
  • Strawberry shake

Some of the frappes are also suitable if you modify them. The frappes come with a chocolate sauce, this sauce has a may contain gluten. Now, I say some as the chocolate frappe contains malt (wheat / barley) and the coffee frappe lists wheat however it’s from caramel colour 150c/150d. This is highly processed and therefore does not contain gluten.

  • Salted caramel frappe, if ordered without chocolate sauce.
  • Coffee frappe, if ordered without chocolate sauce.

The soft drinks from McDonald’s, including frozen Coke and frozen Fanta, are all gluten free.

McCafe gluten free goods

No food at McCafe is gluten free, no surprise there. On the PDF however it lists the marshmallows on the document? These are gluten free, despite that it lists wheat from glucose syrup. This however is absolutely fine for coeliacs, glucose syrup does not contain gluten.

Drinks

Drinks are obviously what we’re interested in at McCafe and most are fine! The McDonald’s website does warn of cross contamination with drinks, this level of risk would be the same at any cafe. The risk is from the steam wand used to heat the milk.

McDonald’s serves oat milk (like many cafes do) and this is where the risk arises. However, this risk is quite low (there’s very little gluten present in oat milk) and the steam wand is typically purged and wiped between drinks. If you’re concerned, talk to the barista preparing your drink.

Since most drinks are absolutely fine I’ll just clarify a few points.

  • Hot chocolate mix is gluten free (however it does contain whey powder (dairy))
  • Syrups are gluten free (hazelnut, vanilla, caramel)
  • Iced chocolate, and deluxe flavoured iced coffees are fine (they use the gf syrups above)

What drinks are not gluten free?

  • Chai powder contains malt extract (barley) so no chai latte or iced chai latte.

Healthy stuff

I noticed while going through the nutrition documents that there are a few extra menu items that didn’t exist when I was a kid. Here’s a few of them that are gluten free.

  • Apple slices
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Garden salad with balsamic dressing

If you’re sad you can’t get much off the breakfast menu, fear not! I’ve got a great recipe for a sausage and egg McMuffin that you can make right at home and gluten free!


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