If you’re like most humans and are a fan of Chick-Fil-A, you probably know that they cook their foods in peanut oil. When we first found out about Gene’s peanut allergy, I instinctively (and devastatingly) swore off all things Chick-Fil-A. However, I kept hearing rumors that people with peanut allergies could still eat those golden nuggets and crispy waffle fries. It just didn’t make any sense to me, and I had to get to the bottom of this mystery.
In case you haven’t figured it out, allergy moms love to do their research. We research, and research, and then research some more. After hearing the rumors, I started to investigate. Each article I found confirmed the rumors and stated that even though Chick-Fil-A uses peanut oil in their kitchens, it was still safe for those with peanut allergies to eat.
The more research I did, the more hope I began to have. We are firm believers in doing the digging and investigating on our own, but always like to have the comfort of our allergist’s knowledge on top of what we find ourselves.
Our allergist agreed that Chick-Fil-A is typically a safe place for those with peanut allergies to eat. The oil is 100% refined peanut oil, meaning that the protein from the peanuts has been removed, thus not posing a risk for those with peanut allergies. There are plenty of scientific studies and numbers on refined peanut oil to back this up, but I’ll leave you to research this on your own if your heart so desires.
Chick-Fil-A’s website even addresses the peanut oil concern too! It specifically says, “Chick-fil-A restaurants purchase their peanut oil from certified suppliers that guarantee their refining process will remove any and all proteins that cause allergic reactions. Not all peanut oil is treated equally, so consumers should exercise caution when buying food or ingredients with peanut oil”. Check out this link for more information straight from the chicken’s beak.
As exciting as it is to know that Gene could eat at Chick-Fil-A and not worry (too much) about his peanut allergy, he sadly still cannot eat at Chick-Fil-A.
Yup. That’s right.
But what about their grilled nuggets? That’s just chicken. Gene can eat chicken. And what about their waffle fries? Waffle fries are just potatoes with some salt. Gene can eat potatoes and salt.
While it’s true that Gene could live off of a meat and potatoes diet, our concern for him is cross-contamination. For example, if the waffle fries are cooked in the same oil as the chicken nuggets, they could end up with traces of egg and wheat on them from the breading of the nuggets. Or if the grilled nuggets are cooked on the same grill that the buns are heated on, his grilled nuggets could have bread crumbs on them. Make sense? Nothing is ever straight forward or easy with food allergies.
We have been known to let Gene have their Icedream (in a cup of course) as a special treat, but that’s about it. Maybe one day Gene will outgrow his egg and wheat allergies and we can let him fully experience the glory of Chick-Fil-A. A momma can only hope! For now, I’ll enjoy my secret dates with Farrah while brother is at school.
*Before you rush out and eat at Chick-Fil-A, know that you should always do your own due diligence by researching for yourself, talking to your doctor, and then still be prepared with epinephrine. There are always exceptions to the rules and allergies are no different. They are the definition of unpredictable.*