Great post from Tom over at CeliacBites.com
"Sounds a little scary doesn’t it?
As you may know from previous posts, I am an ultra-sensitive celiac and apparently have been blessed with amazing gluten detection superpowers. So when it comes to eating any kind of food in any kind of public establishment, I’m positively skeptical.
It turns out that McDonald’s Eggs and McDonald’s Breakfast Sausage are both gluten free. So are their burgers (minus buns of course) but we’ll cover that in a separate post. It goes without saying that their biscuits and english muffins are not.
Over the years, I have found and fine tuned easy ways to order things that I know to be gluten free without going through the whole explanation of celiac disease, gluten, food allergies, and twenty minutes worth of medical science explanation. One of the shortcuts I used to use at McDonald’s was to order a Big Breakfast meal without the biscuit. I like to order a coffee so paying the combo price while throwing away the biscuit was not that bad a deal. Also, almost always, the hash browns are served in a separate paper hash brown baggie, so there was little risk of cross contamination there. The gotcha in this plan was that far to often (for me anyway) someone in the kitchen would see “Big Breakfast” on their monitor, assemble it complete with biscuit, and then notice the “no biscuit” modifier. So my biscuit would be removed from the platter while leaving a trail of poisonous crumbs of doom for me to eat with my eggs and sausage. Bad plan. My gluten free breakfast was not so gluten free anymore.
So here’s the trick. Every McDonalds that I have encountered allows you to purchase side orders of both eggs and sausage. There’s a button on the cash register for it, and so far, no one has even given me a puzzled look when I ask for it. Maybe I’m the only one that didn’t know that little secret (highly likely) but it sure does make gluten free eating at McDonald’s easier and safer.
You see, when you order eggs and/or sausage as a side item, you reduce the risk of someone just ‘removing’ a biscuit and/or hash browns from the plate. That’s where I’ve gotten into trouble in the past. In the hustle and bustle of a morning rush kitchen, things tend to get lined up and its easy to fill an order for a Big Breakfastwithout biscuit by simply removing the biscuit from a regular order. And these leaves crumbs and a high probability of cross contamination.
If you order the side item, yours is prepared special – just eggs and just sausage. Most of the time my eggs and sausage are delivered in separate burger boxes. Once in a while, they are put together in the same tray normally used to serve a big breakfast. I don’t really care either way, as in any case I always look for crumbs or other evidence that mine was a modified and fully biscuitted meal.
Enjoy your fast food! More or less."