Most fast food restaurants have stopped frying their food in peanut oil for the safety of customers with peanut allergies. Only a few chains still use peanut oil — namely Chick-fil-A, Five Guys, and Jimmy John’s. However, several chains, including McDonald’s and Burger King, still use some peanut or tree nut products, most commonly in desserts.
The FDA exempts labeling highly-refined peanut oil as an allergen since some peanut-allergic individuals can safely consume it, so it can be hard to spot the restaurants that do still use peanut oil. Below, we have the details of which fast-food restaurants use peanut oil, which ones use other peanut products, and which ones don’t use peanut products at all.
If you have a peanut allergy and are considering visiting a fast food restaurant near you, keep the following information in mind:
- While there are restaurants that don’t use any peanut products, some still sell products manufactured in facilities that process peanuts or tree nuts.
- Even though most restaurants require peanut products and other allergens to be separate from other food products, if your allergy is severe, you may want to speak with the staff about the potential for cross-contamination before ordering your food.
- Many fast food chains are franchises. While they’re required to follow the rules set out by corporate, there’s a chance that some may not adhere to every regulation — meaning that even if a corporation requires its stores to refrain from using peanut oil or peanut products, some franchises may disobey that rule.
It’s always a good idea to check the restaurant’s website for allergen information, call the restaurant, and/or make sure the staff is aware of your allergy before you order to avoid cross-contamination or accidental exposure to allergens.
Fast Food Restaurants That Use Peanut Oil
The following chains use peanut oil to prepare some of their food:
- Chick-fil-A: Uses refined peanut oil
- Five Guys: Uses peanut oil for its french fries; milkshakes may also contain peanut proteins
- Jimmy John’s: All flavors of Jimmy Chips are cooked in peanut oil; several other items, such as Jimmy Peppers and ranch dressing, are produced in facilities that also process peanuts or tree nuts
Fast Food Restaurants That Use Other Peanut Products
The restaurants listed below don’t use peanut oil to fry food — using alternatives like corn oil, soybean oil, or vegetable oil instead — but they sell other items that may contain peanuts. Some restaurants offer a general statement that peanuts are used in their restaurants, while others identify which specific items on their menu contain peanuts. You can call the restaurant or ask the staff before ordering to be sure.
- Burger King
- Dairy Queen
- Jason’s Deli
Fast Food Restaurants That Don’t Use Any Peanut Products
The following restaurants don’t use peanut oil or serve other peanut products. However, some products at the listed restaurants may be manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts or tree nuts. We note this with an asterisk (*) wherever applicable.
- Carl’s Jr.*
- Del Taco (Note: Del Taco’s Beyond Meat products include pea protein, which you may want to be cautious of if you have a severe peanut allergy.)
- Jack in the Box*
- Moe’s Southwest Grill
- Taco Bell
- Wendy’s (Note: While Wendy’s doesn’t use peanuts, select menu items contain tree nuts.)