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is peanut oil commonly used in restaurants?

33 replies [Last post]
By joeybeth on Sat, 06-17-06, 17:58

I don't often come to the restaurants section at PA.com but I did today and noticed today that several commented on restaurants that use peanut oil to fry in and for other uses. I hate to admit that I sometimes just assume peanut oil is not used (especially in the "standard" places we eat in often). Now i am getting concerned and will be sure to ask more often when we go out to eat.

A perfect example...Buffalo Wild Wings. We just got one here and took our girls there recently. It wasn't that good, imo, but the girls did eat chicken strips and I would have fainted if I had known they were fried in peanut oil. Even IF peanut oil is usually safe (due to heating or something???), I would never knowingly let my PA kids consume anything prepared with it.

I find myself forgetting to "re-ask" at places that we've grown comfortable with; kind of like how I sometimes grab packages of cookies or whatever that I "know" are safe. I have to remind myself often that it's good to check even when I'm "sure", just in case something has changed on the label.

How prevalent is peanut oil and can anyone think of any popular restaurants that we might frequent that use it?

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By princesshinmighty on Sat, 06-17-06, 19:15

One that sticks out in my mind is Chik-Fil-A...

I rarely check at the restaurants that I frequent most often, since I had already checked there before - unless it's a different franchise location or a place I haven't been in years. I've gotten most of my family and friends in the habit of calling ahead to places we're scheduled to go to - that way we can ask the manager/chefs and not a "flakey" waitstaff person who's just interested in the tip you leave.

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By SallyL on Sat, 06-17-06, 22:29

I don't know. I haven't come across any place yet that uses peanut oil. I think some peanut oils are supposedly ok since they have none of the protein. Is it cold-pressed? I don't know. I don't trust any of it.

I'm in Canada. I heard though that it is more common in the States, but I haven't come across any yet!

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By CorinneM1 on Sat, 06-17-06, 22:30

From our experience more places in the South (Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida) seem to use peanut oil more. 99% of the time in Chicago (where we are from) the answer to the frying oil is pure veggie oil.

When we visit family in the Southern states, I would say more than not, at least in again in our experience they use it.

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By ajgauthier on Sun, 06-18-06, 01:08

hi -

If you do some research online -

cold pressed peanut oil IS BAD, there is a lot of peanut protein in it and IS NOT safe for PA.

highly refined peanut oil is up in the air. Supposedly the process removes enough peanut protein so that it is ok for PA. Some on here trust it, some don't. Some have eaten food that's been fried in highly refrined peanut oil and have been fine, some haven't been fine.

As far as restaurants, yes, Chicka Filet uses peanut oil. Some on here report they've eaten there without incident. I personally don't eat there b/c the smell of those restaurants bothers me, I just can't get over it.

I do traveling for work and have the experience of finding restaurants that use peanut oil. I *always* ask what oil they fry in, specifically "what kind/blend of vegetable oil" and always have the server/manager/chef go in the back and look at the container for the label and warnings. There are restaurants that use peanut oil --- some fish and chip places, I found a hotel restaurant in Washington DC that did, obviously some chinese food places, 1 Mexican restaurant, and some scattered others. It's possible, and I think it's something to ask about b/c "you never know" and "you never know" is the PA person is sensitive enough to react to highly refined peanut oil.


30-year old survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

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By falcon on Sun, 06-18-06, 02:04

A number of years ago, I found that a snack shack at a zoo nearby (Stone Zoo, MA) used peanut oil. Not sure if they still do. And this year, down in the Florida Keys at Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, the food place on site used peanut oil for the french fries.

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By notnutty on Sun, 06-18-06, 13:06

We have bumped into it frequently. One restaurant nearby us uses it because they make their own potato fries (thin wedges). We visited a pizza place a few weeks ago and we left because the restaurant said they cannot guarantee peanut oil is not in the sauce. Then recently BWW. I actually thought it would be the standard...we use 100% veggie oil response...but nope, peanut oil.

We normally do not eat out very often, but we have our house on the market and the showings seem to always take place over the dinner hour. Maybe that is why we have bumped into peanut oil issues more often lately.


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By Adele on Sun, 06-18-06, 14:02

I agree with Corinne, I find peanut oil more often in restaurants in the South.

The restaurant in the Southern Hills Marriot in Tulsa, OK use peanut oil in the hotel kitchen. Also Gilligan's Restaurant south of Charleston, S.C. on the Savannah Highway. I think Gilligan's is a chain - so the others probably use PN oil also.

I've found that many restaurants don't have a clue what kind of oil they use - and will tell me I can't eat there because they aren't sure. Sometimes, I ask them to read the label - and it's almost always canola oil.

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By DRobbins on Sun, 06-18-06, 14:02

This isn't addressed to anyone in particular, but I just want to remind everyone: Please don't forget that the answer of "100% vegetable oil" does not mean peanut oil isn't being used. While vegetable oil is usually a combination of corn and soybean oil, it can also contain other non-animal oils, including peanut. So don't accept the answer of "100% vegetable oil" without pressing further.

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By joeybeth on Sun, 06-18-06, 15:58

thank you, drobbins. i had never even looked at it that way. after all, how many people have assured me there were no peanuts in a facility.......just peanut butter?????? sometimes people don't fully understand the question(s) we ask at restaurants, parties, etc. i had never considered that peanut oil would be considered a type of veg oil for many people or that it could be used in combo. with other types of oils.

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By Momcat on Sun, 06-18-06, 17:22

We have run into peanut oil at asian and mexican restaurants. In one case, DD had been eating tortillas cooked in peanut oil and had no reaction. It must have been refined oil, but we decided to stop going there since you never know when they'll change to a different brand of oil that isn't ok.


[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited July 09, 2006).]

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By ceross on Sun, 06-18-06, 18:15

Quote:Originally posted by DRobbins:
[b]This isn't addressed to anyone in particular, but I just want to remind everyone: Please don't forget that the answer of "100% vegetable oil" does not mean peanut oil isn't being used. While vegetable oil is usually a combination of corn and soybean oil, it can also contain other non-animal oils, including peanut. So don't accept the answer of "100% vegetable oil" without pressing further.[/b]

You read my mind. That drives me nuts when I ask about this at restaurants, especially when while asking that I will ask them to check what type of vegetable if vegetable oil is used.

I'm in Northern Virginia and have found a couple of places that use peanut oil or a peanut oil blend for their french fries. Five Guys is a prime example but they're also unsafe because of the unshelled peanuts they put out for patrons. Also, in Ashburn, San Vito restaurant uses peanut oil for their fries.

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By Sandra Y on Sun, 06-18-06, 22:44

Great Steak & Potato Co. is a fast food place that cooks their french fries in peanut oil. I noticed it today when I was at a mall, looking for some lunch. Fortunately, it says right on the menu that they use peanut oil.

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By perpetually perplexed on Mon, 06-19-06, 12:07

I have run across peanut oil at a few Cracker Barrels, Applebee's and Sonic restaurants. This has been in the past year.

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By notnutty on Mon, 06-19-06, 13:12

Quote:Originally posted by DRobbins:
[b]This isn't addressed to anyone in particular, but I just want to remind everyone: Please don't forget that the answer of "100% vegetable oil" does not mean peanut oil isn't being used. While vegetable oil is usually a combination of corn and soybean oil, it can also contain other non-animal oils, including peanut. So don't accept the answer of "100% vegetable oil" without pressing further.[/b]

Good catch...I guess it was a little early when I wrote my response. Your right...I usually don't settle for a response unless they say "no peanut oil is used" or they say canola oil. Thanks for the clarification.


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By ajgauthier on Mon, 06-19-06, 15:54

Quote:Originally posted by notnutty:
[b] Good catch...I guess it was a little early when I wrote my response. Your right...I usually don't settle for a response unless they say "no peanut oil is used" or they say canola oil. Thanks for the clarification.


I agree...I always ask the server (or manager on the phone earlier in the day) to go in the kitchen and actually read the jug/vat of oil to tell me precisely what is used. Honestly, usually it's 100% canola. But there have been occasions where they read off this oil blend that does have peanut oil in it (or a warning)


30-year old survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

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By alliedhealth on Tue, 06-20-06, 00:32

Here in NC definitely a lot of peanut oil used- especially at seafood restaurants- they say it browns fried food better...Good suggestion about having them show you the jug of oil as much as possible- so much easier than explaining 4-5 times why just being told 100% vegetable oil is not enough. It is usually very easy to see what it is on the label and then maybe the staff can learn what to look for too...

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By solarflare on Wed, 06-21-06, 22:39

Other than the Great Steak and Potato Co. and a cheesesteak place that has since gone out of business, I've not run into restaurants that use peanut oil in CA. Not that I'm saying they don't exist... I just haven't been to one yet and when Jason is with me, I always ask.

Cheryl, mom to Jason (8 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and egg)
Joey (6 NKA)
Allison (3 MFA including milk, butternut squash, several fruits and suspected shellfish allergies, avoiding tree nuts, RAST - for peanut)
Ryan (born 12/27/05) nka *knock on wood*

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By TyTurner on Tue, 06-27-06, 17:19

I live in Ohio and we have a few "pennstation's" they do the hot subs and cook their fries in peanut oil for the low cholestrol thing. Before we found out about HB's PA we went there and he would nibble on the fries, no reaction I guess the boiling does something to the oil but I won't temp it now that we know.

[This message has been edited by TyTurner (edited June 27, 2006).]

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By Gail W on Wed, 06-28-06, 01:40

Just earlier this month we were vacationing in Saugatuck Michigan and a movie theater used peanut oil for their popcorn. I have never run across that before. Thankfully there was an allergy alert sign posted on the popcorn machine.

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By hopechapel on Wed, 06-28-06, 03:24

Watch it in the South. Everywhere I went in Georgia and on the way home used it. Up here, in NY, I run into it less, but I do always ask since, unfortunately, my son is really into french fries.

Last one was a Spanish restaurant that serves amazing Paella.

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By McCobbre on Mon, 07-03-06, 19:09

Berryhill's Baja Grill & Cantina uses peanut oil.

They have locations in Houston, Austin, and Dallas.

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By McCobbre on Mon, 07-03-06, 19:13

Macaroni Grill doesn't use peanut oil to fry in, but as long as they are frying their snickers type dessert, they might as well be, and it's not safe to eat anything fried.

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By TinaM on Mon, 07-03-06, 20:51

I'm in the South, way deep (MS) and we have alot of fish and steak type restaurants that use peanut oil. However, most of these are not "chain" restaurants, they are the mom and pop variety. In addition, we do have here the Chick-Fil-A and such. The McDonald's in our area, BK, and etc. are peanut oil free.
It does seem to be more in these private owned rest. rather than the chains, however, that's just my area, which is very rural!

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By joeybeth on Mon, 07-03-06, 21:08

didn't know macaroni grill had a snickers based dessert. that's good to know as we used to love to eat there (pre-PA) and now we'll know to avoid those if we're ever traveling to an area that has one.

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By McCobbre on Mon, 07-03-06, 23:07

DS eats at Mac Grill safely all the time--just nothing fried.

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By FromTheSouth on Sun, 07-09-06, 16:10

I've been told that peanut oil cooks food more quickly, at higher temp. without burning so that is why it is very often used at seafood and/or chicken restaurants. We have never been able to find a seafood restaurant at Myrtle Beach, SC, that doesn't use peanut oil. If anyone out there knows one, please post so I can check it out! There are about 1,500 restaurants along the Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach) but we can only eat at the ones in our own hometown...mostly hamburger/pizza chains. Even the deli in grocery stores may use peanut oil for the two reasons listed above. So always double when ordering from your deli.

Cooking whole turkeys in peanut oil is very popular in the south, too. If ordering poultry, always check to see how it was prepared.

I am thankful that peanut oil is expensive. I hope it stays that way. I highly suspect its cost helps deter companies from using it.

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By Adele on Mon, 07-10-06, 01:27

I love seafood and am in the South Carolina for a week every February - amd have no choice but to eat in restaurants.

As 'fromthesouth' said, it seems that all the seafood restaurants in South Carolina use peanut oil. When I'm in SC, I order 'steam & peel shrimp' and a salad at seafood restaurants. I send my chef card to the kitchen with my order.

I have this for dinner almost every evening. Good thing I like shrimp and don't have a problem with cholesterol.


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By Gail W on Wed, 07-12-06, 02:33

joeybeth, are you familiar with Lambert's? Famous for throwing their rolls? I know there's one in Sikeston, MO and another in Springfield, MO. [url="http://www.throwedrolls.com/"]http://www.throwedrolls.com/[/url] I think they use peanut oil.

Edited to add that yes indeed Lambert's uses peanut oil. Here is the response I received today via e-mail:

LIZ [/i]

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited July 13, 2006).]

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By joeybeth on Sun, 07-16-06, 06:59

not only have i ever eaten at lamberts....we are related (by marriage...my cousin and her son are lamberts). my family is originally from sikeston. what a small world....

they also have a rest. between springfield and branson and another in louisiana or alabama or something.

anyhow...i had NO idea they used peanut oil in anything!!!!!!! how could i have not known that????? i have not taken the girls to eat there but i have eaten there many times and still do on occasion when i'm "home." (in spite of the apparent lack of allergy awareness, it's really really great food....) i am so shocked that i didn't even think to ask about peanuts/peanut oil use.

your story was funny (in a scary sort of way). it reminds me of the time, in my earlier years of dealing with PA, when i asked a sonic carhop if i needed to worry about cross contamination issues with their shakes and ice cream and such. the carhop looked at me very seriously and said....

"no need to worry, ma'am. we don't use peanuts at all. just peanut butter."

not only was this guy clueless about where pb comes from, they DID use peanuts as well (as toppings on sundaes, etc). i'm always amazed at how unaware some people are. i have to constantly remind myself that not everyone is used to thinking about these issues on a daily basis.

[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited July 16, 2006).]

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By momll70 on Sun, 03-04-07, 15:50

Mama Theresa's in Long Island, NY switched to peanut oil a couple of months ago. Many Italian pizzeria/restaurants use peanut oil in our area. Also Umberto's uses peanut oil in their pizza and even in their salads, I think I remember them telling me he uses it in everything. I've learned to always ask because before I was comfortable walking into a pizzeria and ordering pizza without asking. Also, Angelo's pizzeria in Carle Place uses peanut oil.

DiNapoli on Merrick Ave, in East Meadow is peanut free but they use sesame occasionally. Safe pizza for peanut allergic is Cafe Bocelli on North Jerusalem Rd. in East Meadow, NY. The owner has a child allergic to peanuts. He does occasionally use sesame but he told me he can make a safe pizza for my son. Haven't been there yet.

Also Grimaldi's pizzeria in Garden City is peanut free and no shellfish. They use tree nuts in salad and there is a pesto topping (with pine nuts) for the pizza. Tell them if you are allergic to tree nuts and to use a clean cutter and they will even put your pizza on a screen to avoid contamination in the oven (even though their ovens cook at such a high temperature (1200 degrees) they don't take the chance which I think is really great. My son is TNA also.

[This message has been edited by momll70 (edited March 04, 2007).]

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By kelseyjane on Mon, 03-05-07, 03:32

I recently had a local pizza place tell me that the equipment some of their food is processed on might be greased with peanut oil! ARG! So we don't go there. But now I'm wondering, is this happening other places and we just don't know to ask deep enough questions?

For now I will stick with our current line of questioning and adjust if experience dictates.

Machines greased with peanut oil - gah!

Mom to Harper
11/17/04 PA

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By erik on Sat, 03-10-07, 05:51

Here in Toronto Canada it is very rare to find a restaurant that uses peanut oil

All I can think of is Le Papillon uses peanut oil for their french fries, and Baton Rouge uses peanut oil for their french fries.

Not many places use peanut oil as it is REALLY EXPENSIVE. Most places seem to use canola oil or vegetable oil these days.

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