Eating fast food presents difficulties for people who are gluten intolerant. According to the non-profit Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, marketers estimate that 15 per cent to 25 per cent of consumers want gluten-free foods. While no fast-food chains are entirely gluten-free, some gluten-free items can usually be found on their menus.
Fast-food restaurants began to offer gluten-free foods as part of their regular menus as early as 2006. Each restaurant offers gluten-free food based on their own criteria as there is no universal standard.
McDonald's provides food-allergy information on its website (see link in Resources), as do many other fast-food restaurants.
The In-N-Out chain is the most gluten-free friendly fast-food restaurant, while McDonald's has the least number of choices that are gluten-free. Other fast-food restaurants also vary in the number of gluten-free foods they offer.
The majority of foods offered at fast-food restaurants that are gluten-free consist of salads, ice cream products and some of the "side" dishes such as those made from potatoes.
People without wheat allergies are turning to eating gluten-free food as a part of their diet as a way to improve overall health. This is causing fast-food restaurants to consider adding more gluten-free foods to their menus.
Gluten-free food can vary by fast-food restaurant; for example, while french fries at SONIC are gluten-free, those from McDonald's are not. Check the allergy information first at a fast-food restaurant to be safe.