A Guest Post by Jodie, Senior Nutrition Consultant for Chick-Fil-A, Inc.

My blog posts about Chick-Fil-A are hands down the most read among my readers.  I think it is because this popular restaurant chain now offers a gluten-free kids meal (in addition to other gluten-free menu items) and the specially processed peanut oil their chicken is cooked in.

So many of you contact me daily to ask about Chick-Fil-A and the story behind their use of peanut oil, that I invited Chick-Fil-A to educate us right here on The Food Allergy Mom blog.

That is why I am truly so excited to announce my special guest blogger for today, Jodie, a Senior Nutrition Consultant at Chick-Fil-A, Inc.   Take a few minutes to read her explanation of the peanut oil used at Chick-Fil-A and then please discuss with your doctor before taking any action.

Once you’ve had a chance to read her post, please be sure to leave us a comment if you’d be interested in hearing future posts from the folks at Chick-Fil-A on various allergy topics such as overall allergen testing from their suppliers ( i.e. how they test their new cookie to ensure it is nut-free) and further details about the processing of their peanut oil.

Thank you, Jodie!  We here at The Food Allergy Mom look forward to hearing more from you soon!

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Commentary provided by Jodie, a Senior Nutrition Consultant at Chick-Fil-A, Inc.

“Chick-fil-A has used refined (heat processed) peanut oil to cook our chicken products since our founder created the Chick-fil-A Sandwich in the 1960s. Our peanut oil is a fully refined peanut oil (refined, bleached and deodorized). This type of process strips out the protein in the oil.

Based on the FDA Food Allergen Labeling Compliance and Protection Act, highly refined oils are not considered allergenic, and therefore do not have to be declared on the label.  In addition, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska Food Allergy Research & Resource Program states that highly refined oils, “…do not demonstrate a hazard to allergic reactions.” Many studies have tested the effect of highly refined oils on individuals with allergies and the majority of the studies, “support the position that refined oils are safe for the food allergic-allergic population to consume.”

Our oil suppliers test the oil after refining and after packaging, to make sure the process has removed any contaminates, including proteins.  The goal of this testing is to make sure that no contaminates have entered the oil (including proteins) throughout the entire process.  Chick-fil-A and our suppliers have very stringent standards to ensure quality and safety of our peanut oil.  

Despite the numerous findings to support highly refined oil as non-allergenic, we always recommend customers with peanut/nut allergies consult with their physician first before consuming food cooked in peanut oil. The final decision should be one agreed upon by you and your doctor.”

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**The views expressed in this blog and commentary should not be substituted for or viewed as medical advice.  Always consult your physician before taking action.

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7 thoughts on “A Guest Post by Jodie, Senior Nutrition Consultant for Chick-Fil-A, Inc.

  1. Hi there,
    I just wanted to comment and say that the very first contact reaction my son had at 18 months was from the peanut oil from Chick-fil-A. I had just eaten and handled the chicken strips and then picked up my son who was not wearing a shirt. I had wiped my hands but not washed them. When I put him down I saw a red rash in the exact shape of my hand prints on his sides where I touched him. We later found out that he is anaphylactic to peanuts after accidentally ingesting some peanut butter. So all that to say that there had to have been some peanut protein in those strips I was eating before I touched my son to leave very distinct hand marks on his skin like that.

  2. Great post and excellent advice to consult your allergist before proceeding. I, for one, will be asking! Chick-fil-A is deliciously addictive!

  3. Thanks for the information and explanation of peanut oil. This has been of conversation at a couple of the allergy meetings I attend. I did talk with my doctor and she suggested we wait to introduce peanut oil due to my son being so young yet. Great information, thanks for sharing it!

  4. Thanks for taking the time to address this issue. We will continue to avoid, as my daughter simple doesn’t need to eat things fried in peanut oil.

  5. Interesting, but I wouldn’t take the risk. There are enough other places to eat where they don’t use peanut oil.

  6. Hi! The decision to eat at Chick-Fil-A ultimately came down to, for me, whether or not it was really worth even a slight risk. There are plenty of other fast food options around for my peanut allergic child to stress over giving up on eating at just one. Her allergist told us it was safe, but I never felt I could trust it 110%. As for the information above, one thing jumped out at me. She stated, “…the majority of the studies, “support the position that refined oils are safe for the food allergic-allergic population to consume.” The *majority* of studies, not *all* of the studies. I’m sorry, but when it’s a matter of life and death and it’s your child, that’s not good enough. Also, they are sure to protect themselves by recommending someone first consult their allergist before eating there. Again, raises some red flags for me when they need to put disclaimers out there. I wish I were as confident as some of the other parents who still eat there with their children, but cross contamination and cooking in peanut oil, no matter what type is just not something I feel comfortable testing out on my child.

  7. Thanks to all of you who commented. It is so important to open the lines of communication with other parents in the food allergy community! With that said, please be considerate in your responses regardless of where you stand on an issue. The intent for this blog is to support one another other, not tear each other down.

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