If you’re one of the two million or more Americans dealing with celiac disease you probably already know that going to McDonald’s is not really an option for you. But why is that? Former McDonald’s Executive Chef Mike Haracz explains why the golden arches won’t be a safe space for the gluten intolerant anytime soon.
Haracz is a certified expert on McDonald’s having planned parts of the chain’s menu over the years and has used his TikTok account to explain why you should never go to Mickey D’s at 10:30 and why you shouldn’t bother with the Big Mac anymore.
His latest TikTok dropped two days ago, and it explains why you should steer clear of McDonald’s if you have a gluten intolerance. So far the video has garnered 8,678 views.
@chefmikeharacz Replying to @Christopher Moran Why is #McDonalds the least gluten free friendly restaurant? #McDonaldsSecret #McDonaldsSecrets #McDonaldsLife #FastFood #FastFoodSecrets #FastFoodLife #McDonaldsMenu #BigMac #QuarterPounder #McChicken #McNuggets #McMuffin #McFlurry #McRib #FYP ♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz
“There is gluten all over the kitchen,” Haracz tells his viewers. “The training level of the crew, the appropriate sanitation measures needed to do an appropriate gluten-free type item, the fact that wheat just in the air can cross-contaminate certain products, that is one of the reasons that especially in the United States you probably are not going to see a real gluten-free item that is appropriate for a celiac.”
Although employers may have to accommodate employees under the American Disabilities Act, restaurants are not required to do so for consumers, a fact observed by one commenter on the video who wrote, “I’ve gotten In arguments over that. People think restaurants have to accommodate gluten-free people. I said, no they don’t.”
Haracz notes that McDonald’s is not willing to risk customers getting sick from cross-contamination. “Similar to why they don’t do, like, a runny egg or they’re not supposed to do a medium rare burger.”
He also says that it would be extremely difficult to ensure that gluten-free foods are truly safe because of “the sheer volume and scale,” as well as “the training level, and age, and … skill level of the people in the kitchens.”
Many of Haracz’s viewers seemed unsympathetic to McDonald’s making accommodations to a small segment of the populace.
“Only 1% of the population has Celiac. I doubt GF could ever be profitable for McDonald’s,” noted one person.
“It’s a fast service restaurant. They’re not trying to appease the one percent that are supposedly gluten intolerant,” another viewer wrote.
“If I own a restaurant, I wouldn’t change my menu for one customer over hundreds of customers,” another added.
“The only thing they may be able to do,” Haracz says, “is bring in a pre-packaged closed food item of some kind.”
“The issue then,” he concludes, “is will they sell enough for it to actually be profitable.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Chef Haracz via TikTok comment for further information.
*First Published: Sep 4, 2023, 2:24 pm CDT
Beau Paul is a freelance writer from Austin, Texas. Beau also wrote narrative and dialog for the gaming industry for several years before becoming an entertainment journalist.