Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wendy's new "Menu Items Without Gluten" guide

Today I discovered that Wendy's has a new "Menu Items Without Gluten Guide", released in December 2007. Was I ever surprised to see this on their website:


I've eaten at Wendy's plenty of times in the past, and their nutrition guide was decent. (You could look at all the individual ingredients, and determine what was gluten-free - manually.)

But this just seems like a new "ray of light" for Celiacs. A guide specifically targeted towards eating gluten-free is something I wish all restaurants would have. So kudos to Wendys!

I actually somewhat wonder if a Celiac created the guide. Or they've just really done their research. They even have little symbols beside some of the menu items, indicating that a given item contains maltodextrin. That's interesting because currently maltodextrin for Celiacs is allowed, though even only a few years ago it was questionable. (The production of maltodextrin in Canada is apparently corn or tapioca based in 99% of the cases. Personally I like to see "corn maltodextrin", but this is not required by Canadian labels.)

So the special maltodextrin symbol is probably someone being very thorough and ensuring you (as a Celiac) are comfortable with it.

Check out the guide for yourself on Wendy's website:
http://www.wendys.com/food/NutritionLanding.jsp

Finally, interestingly enough their burger patties are indeed gluten-free. Their old guide specified the burgers had gluten, but I was never sure if the reasoning was the bun. So, today I had my first Wendy's burger in a long time, without the bun. I enjoyed it, but perhaps it's not for everyone:



Yeah, this Big Bacon Classic looks nasty but was actually was tasty. Maybe it's because I haven't had a Wendy's hamburger in ages. Next time...bring on the 3/4 pounder with three patties! (ok, my stomach can handle it, but probably not the rest of my body. Well, that's probably not true...my stomach could barely handle the above, even if it was gluten-free.)

More fast food another day! (maybe)

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can find a Canadian version of the Wendy's gluten-free list at
http://www.wendys.com/food/pdf/ca/gluten_free_list.pdf

SafeCeliac said...

Yes, you're right and thanks for the post.

I realized that my original link by default points to the US version of the site. You have to change the drop down to "Canada English" to see the Canadian version of the site at that I originally mentioned. (http://www.wendys.com/food/NutritionLanding.jsp)

Here again is the link to the gluten-free list of items at Wendy's:

http://www.wendys.com/food/pdf/ca/gluten_free_list.pdf

KM said...

I was always under the impression that the fries at Wendy's were GF, yet I don't see them on the website? I checked one day with the manager at Wendy's and they confirmed they were just potato fried in non-contaminated oil?

SafeCeliac said...

KM - I wish I could say you were correct. (How many times have I felt like fries at Wendys!)

But alas, the fries do contain gluten according to Wendy's website.

See this document
http://www.wendys.com/food/pdf/ca/nutrition.pdf

McDonalds fries however are gluten-free, and it's the only fast food restaurant that I know of that has gluten-free fries.

Speaking of fries. Apparently Swiss Chalet fries are gluten-free, but depending on the restaurant they may cook their fries in a fryer with gluten products.

The Swiss Chalet on Highland and Westmount apparently has a separate fryer for fries but I always ask just in case.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to point out that the link indicates the fries MAY be cooked in the same oil as other gluteny things... otherwise, they are in fact gluten-free.

"Black Letter indicates menu item may be cooked in the same oil as an item containing the allergen"

Anonymous said...

Also about fries... I have contacted New York Fries and they told me that their fries are cut fresh at each location and nothing is added - they are gluten-free.

Here is their email response: http://i27.tinypic.com/a1ggh.jpg

I noticed that you are in Waterloo and looking for Celiac-friendly restaurants... I live in Toronto and have started a website listing restaurants and bakeries in Ontario with gluten-free options specified: http://www.glutenfreeontario.ca

Many of them are in Toronto - definitely worth a trip here.

Anyway, great blog :)

SafeCeliac said...

Wow. Yes you are right and I stand corrected! I completely missed the fine print at the bottom of the document indicating that the fryer is the source of gluten, not the fries themselves. (and by the way, it's important to read the Canadian version, not the US version). :-)

It seems that the fries "could be" gluten-free depending on if a particular restaurant uses a separate fryer.

What really threw me off was the "Menu Items Without Gluten" document doesn't have the fries in it. I guess that makes sense considering their warning in the Nutrition Guide.

As for New York Fries, yes I have investigated them also and they are indeed gluten-free, cooked in their own fryers.

Thanks for the tip!

SafeCeliac said...

Great website, by the way.

I'll link to it here so others can just click it:

http://www.glutenfreeontario.ca

~*~ said...

Thank you for sharing this! :)

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