McDonald’s French Fries Haraam?

This scare does the rounds every now and again:

McDonald’s announced in the 1990s that it changed its frying oil from animal fat to vegetable oil for those who are vegetarian. However, it turned out that this information did not turn out to be completely true French fries are fried slightly in animal fat then frozen and shipped to all the McDonald’s stores for the final frying The following information was announced on the Arabic BBC channel Basically, what they do is they cut the potatoes into slices and then coat them with a thin layer of lard (pig fat) or cow fat so that when it is fried it will crunch. Then these fries are shipped to McDonald’s stores in different parts of the world including India and the Arab countries. McDonald’s apologized to the Indians after receiving complaints, since a good number of Indians do not eat anything that has ingredients derived from animals. And of course no apology has been made to the Arab countries. So in summary, McDonald’s fries is coated with a layer of either cow fat or lard (pig fat which is thicker and cheaper) then shipped to all McDonald’s stores over the world, which is then fried in vegetable fat. Please alert all those you know of this information.

McDonald’s [UK] nutrition guide says:

No flavourings are added to our French Fries apart from a little salt prior to serving. At certain times of he year when there is little naturally occurring sugar in potatoes, a light sugar solution may be used to ensure that our French Fries maintain their characteristic golden colour.

and

Cooking Oil
The cooking oil used in the restaurants is a nonhydrogenated vegetable oil that is a blend of High Oleic Sunflower Oil, High Oleic Rapeseed Oil and standard Rapeseed Oil. It is used to prepare the following products: Chicken McNuggets?, Chicken Selects?, Chicken Legend?, McChicken? Sandwich, Filet-o-Fish?, Fish Fingers, Spicy Veggie Patty, French Fries, Hash Browns and Apple Pies.

and

French Fries
Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Rapeseed, Palm) *.

Whilst there are other reasons why one should avoid McDonald’s, their fries are not haraam. As I said before, misinformation like this can be easily verified by just a little research and common-sense.

Additionally, a friend of mine, Musab Bora, called McDonald’s and here is what he said (quoted from DeenPort):

I just called McDonalds on 020 8 700 7505 and the email given is untrue as it is written. It may have been true in the US many years ago, but in the UK the chap said that the fries are 100% vegetarian in all restaurants, they have a separate fries fryer which is visible from the counter at most stores, and only contains vegetarian fat. No animal fat is on the fries at any stage.

0208 700 7505 if you want check this yourself. Please do not believe emails and websites. Scepticism is a good thing…

Musab Bora

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9 thoughts on “McDonald’s French Fries Haraam?”

  1. I dont see in your post where there is refutation of the scare mail…

    “No flavourings are added to our French Fries apart from a little salt prior to serving.” – the animal fat has nothing to do with the flavouring.

    “The cooking oil used in the restaurants is a nonhydrogenated” – note, they say in the restaurants – not the pre-prepared stage…

    Maybe you can do the research for us again?

  2. In answer to your question Abdullah, the ingredients that I have quoted for the French Fries from their nutrition guide are:

    French Fries
    Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Rapeseed, Palm) *.

    By law, they would be obliged to divulge any other additives they use.

  3. Maybe it’s not true in the UK, but in the US the fries are still flavored/processed with beef prior to being fried.

    From the website:

    French Fries:
    Potatoes, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)*, citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), dimethylpolysiloxane (antifoaming agent)), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, partially hydrogenated corn oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). *CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK (Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients.)

  4. ummmm Baba, on their nutrition site, it says Beef Flavoring, which includes wheat and milk derivatives. But it also includes beef fat. I have done the research in the US and the company has confirmed it. They are legally mandated to put the “wheat and milk derivative info on there due to allergies. They do not however have to list all of the ingredients that make up its flavoring for proprietary reasons.

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