Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan?

A vegan diet is a diet that avoids all animal products and byproducts, including eggs, dairy products, and honey.

Are McDonald's Fries Vegan?

McDonald’s fries are supposedly vegan, according to one of the food service chains’ UK representatives.

However, the other sources have said they are not completely vegan and that the ingredients are not clearly labeled.

So how are we meant to know? There has been a lot of controversy over this issue recently because people want to know for 100% if they are vegan or not. 

This guide will cover whether they are completely vegan including how they are cooked, what they are cooked in and what ingredients go into them and why people think they can’t be 100% vegan. 

Where Are You Buying Them?

This huge fast food company has thousands of Mcdonalds across the world and the ingredients that are used are not the same in each and every one of them.

For example, in the UK they changed how their fries were made and what to make them completely vegetarian and vegan.

However, places in the US still include particular ingredients and cook them in certain oils and flavoring that does not make them suitable.

Therefore, you need to be double checking anywhere you go to make sure they have told you exactly what is in those fries. 

What Are They Made Out Of? 

The UK is pretty reliable for their vegan fries or ‘chips’ because the only ingredients they include are potatoes, vegetable oil, sugar and salt.

However, in the US it is known for adding in a few extra ingredients such as beef, milk and other flavoring s that wouldn’t be suitable for vegans. 

If you are a vegan who loves to travel around the world, you need to be careful in certain areas because they specifically make their fries beef flavored. 

Are They Cooked Separately? 

One of the main arguments that people have on this topic also links to how the fries are not cooked separately to other meats that are fried.

From different sources, it was found that in the UK they are all cooked separately. However, there are certain countries where they are all cooked together. 

In both the US and Australia, everything will be cooked in the same fryers which means that they would be contaminated with meat products.

This might not always be explained to the people who are buying these fries either.

Therefore this is where it becomes a big issue for vegan people because it is blurry in places and not everyone has one answer for it. 

Switching To Vegetable Oil 

Switching To Vegetable Oil 

When all of the Mcdonalds around the world switched to using vegetable oil, there were many customers in the US that would complain about the taste of the fries.

Therefore, they started to add beef flavoring to try and help with that issue. The issue with that for vegans is that it is made out of milk which they cannot consume in any sort of way. 

It is not one of the most obvious added ingredients and it was not clearly labeled or known which is what the main issue was.

Therefore, the US Mcdonald’s company issued a statement saying that none of their fries or food was either vegetarian or vegan to avoid the issue completely. 

  • The US website states: “Natural Beef Flavor Contains Hydrolyzed Wheat And Hydrolyzed Milk As Starting Ingredients’’.
  • The company does not actually have to disclose the ingredients in their additive as long as their food has been deemed safe. However both milk and wheat both need to be disclosed because they are allergens and affect people with wheat intolerance and other medical issues. 
  • Meat is not an allergen so they do need to disclose whether their food has meat in it. However, they must not say at any point that they are suitable for vegetarians because it will go against their rights. 

Ingredients for US fries: 

  • Potatoes 
  • Vegetable oils 
  • Canola oils
  • Corn oil 
  • soybean oil 
  • Natural beef flavor 
  • Wheat (You might also want to check out How To Cook Bulgur Wheat) and milk derivatives 
  • Dextrose
  • Sodium acid pyrophosphate & salt 

Do They Have Any Plans To Change This? 

Many years ago there were lawsuits filed against the company for not disclosing the meat flavoring or issues with cooking meat in with the fries to vegetarians.

Then, they had to put out a statement where they mentioned that the ingredients would not be changing in the US because that is the main want in that country.

However, this is not the same in every country you visit and they have different ingredients used. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are McDonald’s Fries Made With Animal Fat?

Not long ago, McDonald’s used animal fat to make French fries in the USA. It all depends on where you are in the world.

The US is known for using beef flavoring which includes milk as well which is something which vegans can’t eat.

They also fry the fries in the same fryers as meat too which goes against what vegans and vegetarians can consume. Always make sure you ask first! 

Conclusion 

Overall, you need to be cautious when entering a McDonalds if you are either vegetarian or vegan because you might not know exactly what is in your food depending on what country you are visiting.

Therefore, it is important to do online searching because it can give you a maximized insight of what the ingredients are and statements they have released personally about the topic. 

Hopefully this guide has given you more information about whether the fries in Mcdonalds are vegan or not and how that is different in each country.

You must be careful in places like Australia and the US because they do cook and fry all of their food together which means it will most likely have traces of meat in there.

Always check depending on where you are and ask if you’re not 100% sure. 

If they can’t give you the information you need, it might be easier for you to go somewhere where the lines are not as blurry on this topic because there are many lovely vegan and vegetarian restaurants and fast food options available now in comparison to the past.

Clara Howie
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