Very few fast food restaurants use peanut oil anymore — only Chick-Fil-A, Five Guys, Jimmy John’s, and Subway do. With the increasing number of peanut allergic customers, most chains have stopped frying their food in peanut oil. Many still have some peanut products, most commonly in deserts. We’ve identified nine restaurants in this category, including McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, and others (see the list below).
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Before diving into which restaurants use peanut oil, other peanut products, or no peanut products, here are some safety tips to consider when dining out at your local fast food restaurant.
- Many restaurants don’t carry any peanut products at all, but some have products that may have been manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts or tree nuts.
- Even though most restaurants require the peanut products and other allergens to be separate from other food products, it’s advised that you speak with the staff about the potential of cross-contamination before ordering your food.
- Many of these chains are franchises.While they are required to follow the rules set out by corporate, there is a chance that some do not stick to every rule, meaning that even if corporate requires refraining from using peanut oil or peanut products, some franchises may disobey that rule.
The FDA exempts labeling highly refined peanut oil as an allergen since it can be safely consumed by allergic individuals, so it can be hard to spot the restaurants that do still use peanut oil. If you’re worried about it, don’t depend on labeling — be sure to ask.
Fast Food Restaurants That Use Peanut Oil
While the number of peanut oil users has decreased, there are still a hand-full of fast food restaurants that choose to cook with peanut oil because it is considered to be a healthier frying option.
- Chick-fil-A: Chick-fil-A uses peanut oil on its breaded chicken. You can, however, order grilled chicken and the famous waffle fries are cooked in canola oil. (Chick-fil-A Allergens)
- Five Guys: Five Guys uses peanut oil on french fries. (Five Guys Allergens)
- Jimmy John’s: Jimmy John’s uses peanut oil on Jimmy kettle cooked chips. (Jimmy John’s Allergens)
- Subway: Subway uses peanut oil on carved turkey. (Subway Allergens)
Fast Food Restaurants That Use Other Peanut Products
The below restaurants have announced using other types of oils in their fried products such as corn oil, soybean oil, or vegetable oil as opposed to peanut oil, but they do sell other items that contain peanuts, most often in desserts like shakes, cookies, brownies, and pies. In addition to calling and confirming with the corporate offices of these restaurants on the type of cooking oil used, each restaurant posts their nutrition/allergens menu online that identifies which items contain peanuts.
- Burger King (Burger King Nutrition Facts)
- Dairy Queen (Dairy Queen Nutrition Facts)
- Jason’s Deli (Jason’s Deli Nutrition Facts)
- KFC (KFC Nutrition Facts)
- McDonald’s (McDonald’s Release)
- Panera (Panera Nutrition Facts)
- Qdoba (Qdoba Allergens)
- Sonic (Sonic Allergens)
Fast Food Restaurants That Don’t Use Any Peanut Products
Many restaurants have omitted the use of peanut products altogether, but as mentioned previously, some products at the listed restaurants may be manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts or tree nuts. Please take note of which restaurants have publicly identified that this applies to some of their products.
- Arby’s: Some products are manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts or tree nuts. (Arby’s Nutrition Facts)
- Bojangle’s (Bojangle’s Nutrition Facts)
- Carl’s Jr.: Ice cream and other products used in their shakes and malts may be processed in facilities where there are peanuts or tree nuts. (Carl’s Jr. Ingredients Guide)
- Chipotle (Chipotle Allergens)
- Del Taco (Del Taco Allergens)
- Hardee’s (Hardee’s Ingredients)
- In-N-Out (In-N-Out Allergens)
- Jack in the Box: The New York style Cheesecake is manufactured on shared equipment with peanuts and tree nuts. (Jack in the Box Allergens)
- Moe’s (Moe’s Nutrition)
- Quiznos: Certain dessert items are processed in a facility with peanuts and tree nuts. (Quizno’s Allergens)
- Taco Bell (Taco Bell Ingredients)
The use of peanut oil as a frying substance at fast food restaurants is becoming less and less popular due to the high volume of peanut allergies in the United States. If you or a family member have a peanut allergy, you have many options for getting delicious fast food at places like Chipotle, Taco Bell, or Wendy’s that don’t use any peanut products. As always, it’s advised to double check with your local restaurant about the details of their cooking products and protocol!