Chick-Fil-A says refined peanut oil is 'safe'

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Has anyone recently reviewed chickfila's allergy info page on their web site? It makes a pretty bold statement that refined peanut oil is 'non-allergic' and thus should be considered 'safe'. They quote studies and seem to give the appearance that they are knowledgable about the subject. I would like to open up a discussion mainly regarding the topic of refined peanut oil, but thought I would use Chick-Fil-A as a catalyst. Thanks. Do any of you allow your PA children to eat there?

By cervonil on Sep 23, 2010

Both my allergist and pediatrician say that Highly Refined peanut oil is safe for "most" people with peanut allergies. I am so super strict with what my child eats, but he had eaten at Chick Fila dozens of times before we found out he is allergic. So I still let him eat it, although we only go there occasionally now. I still worry he could have a reaction there - even though they both told me he probably won't.

By sekoms on Sep 24, 2010

Same here -- if in doubt, no chances. My OC (obessissive compulsive) says you can never be 100% sure, but when you know that it's PEANUT oil (refined or not), then espicially no chances. We've managed for quite some time (PA daughter turns 15 next friday.) Our rule has always been NO CHANCES. And really you just get used to the inconvenience and yes, sometimes disruptive lifestlye of living with peanut allergy. There have been many a birthday cake that had one less partaker. She also had a pretty high RAST score last time we checked, so another reason to be extra cautious. It's been a while but one of the more ignorant comments made was from my brother in law, who is a nurse, and he said on one occasion when we had concerns about the sino-american buffet restaurant we had just sat down to eat dinner, "she's got her epipen right?"...or something to the effect of, well if she does have a reaction, then give her the shot! Hopefully our culture has come a long way from then. There are still a lot of unedcuated people out there concerning peanut allergy, but things have improved. And of course still the only full proof way to prevent a reaction is avoidance. Thanks for sharing!

By zeena2 on Sep 23, 2010

I think it's better to be safe than sorry. I won't let my daughter eat anything that has any kind of peanuts or peanut oil or anything at all to do with peanuts in it or manufactured in the same facility with it. You just never know when they could have a reaction.

By zeena2 on Sep 24, 2010

My favorite ignorant comment(or better yet the comment I hate the most) is when an adult tells my child to "just pick the nuts off" as if her allergy is that she just doesn't like peanuts. I am also very proud of my daughter when she is able to explain to an adult why she cannot eat the food item and what would happen to her if she did. Listening to a child speak of a severe allergic reaction is a very effective way to make a non-allergic individual understand the severity of her allergy.

By zeena2 on Sep 29, 2010

I read the Chick-a-fila site about their use of peanut oil. Even though it is refined, I still won't let my daughter eat there. It just makes nervous to think she would eat anything "peanut".

By peanut5280 on Sep 30, 2010

My son, now 6, has severe peanut allergy. He tested positive for peanut oil as well. We ate at Chick Fil A frequently when he was younger, knowing he had a peanut allergy. One time we noticed his fingers red and swollen in the restaurant while eating chicken nuggets. I looked at the menu and saw the sign for the first time, "We use 100% refined peanut oil". We felt horrible because we had no idea. Benadryl took care of the reaction. He has since tested negative for peanut oil and loves Chick Fil A, with no reaction. (He is still severely allergic to peanuts) So in short, YES, refined peanut oil can cause a reaction, at least in my son it did. Hope this helps.

By cervonil on Sep 30, 2010

I have never heard of being tested for peanut oil, has anyone else had this done? It was my understanding that in peanut and peanut oil it is the protein that you would be allergic too. In highly refined peanut oil they refine, bleach and deodorize the oil which "supposedly" removes the protein. But it would still be the same protein, right? This is not to be confused with cold pressed peanut oil (that you find in the grocery stores). Am I misunderstanding this? - please let me know.

I have to admit that while we do eat Chik fila, if there was a sign that said peanut oil anywhere else I would definitely avoid it.

By zeena2 on Sep 30, 2010

I've never heard of being tested for peanut oil, either. I believe it is the protein that people are allergic to.

By peanut5280 on Oct 1, 2010

There seems to be some doubt as to if peanut oil testing exists. My son was is a patient at, and was tested for peanut oil at the Colorado Asthma and Allergy Center in Littleton Colorado. Check it out.

By zeena2 on Oct 2, 2010

Thanks for the link!

By tedge20 on Oct 5, 2010

My understanding of the peanut oil issue was that the studies deeming it "safe" could not make any claims about people with severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. People with these reactions could not be included in any studies, as their lives might be in danger from participation. Thus, it seems a bit irresponsible for Chic-Fil-A to put forth any broad statement about the safety of peanut oil without clarifying the research results.

By amr916 on Nov 8, 2010

I have a severe peanut allergy (anaphylaxis) and I can eat Chic-Fil-A. However, everyone is different and I certainly don't recommend anyone take a chance to see whether or not one can tolerate the peanut oil.

By Jennifer-is-always-sick on Nov 11, 2010

Our allergist told us that refined oils used to be the norm, and most allergic people could have it. But the cold pressed oils are the ones you definitely want to avoid.

I would suggest asking the allergist to do a skin test using the refined oil, unless of course your child is severely allergic/anaphylactic to the peanuts. Then I would just say avoid it. No one has to eat Chick-Fil-A, right? I didn't realize they used refined peanut oil, but I have avoided them because everything is fried and in peanut oil.

I didn't realize anyone used refined peanut oil anyway.

By allycampbell94 on Feb 6, 2011

I disagree about the oil. My husband reacts to peanut oils and flours,

By sekoms on Feb 8, 2011

yeah that's another interesting topic. ingested peanut oil vs. topical oil applied to skin. idk the answer. thanks to everyone for your responses. i had bad eczema as an adult and after rounds of prescription steroid creams that provided temporary relief to dry cracked bleeding hands, it miraculously healed on its own. i'm not sure what it was, but thinking maybe it was mostly something i was ingesting that caused the reaction. but i didn't change my diet, so it's all a mystery. that's the frustrating thing about food allergies! (ps, i'm still an adult!)

By chelle.tovar on Feb 8, 2011

I wrote this on another post but I will repeat it here. My daughter has severe eczema and PA. Her allergist recommended some oil that contains mostly refined peanut oil. She tested high for PA so I was nervous but her allergist assured me it would be okay. She has been using it over a year with no reactions and she has smooth skin now.

Even still, I do avoid giving her food cooked in peanut oil. :P

By jennifersargent on Feb 9, 2011

I think the thing that makes me the most confused is that the professionals argue about the reactions... My choice avoid... I don't want a second reaction and I know it is coming. I have been sooooo lucky to not have had a reaction after his first at nine months and he is turning three. I am super careful and others say I am plain pushy but he is severe and twenty minutes was losing airway after only being touched by very little amount... Maybe the parent of the child who reacted should bring action against them...

By sekoms on Feb 9, 2011

There's really no other way. Best strategy -- total avoidance. Our 15 yr. old PA daughter has had very little 'noticeable' reactions since we discovered her allergy when she was around 3 or 4 yrs old (my, how time flies!). And our policy has always been anything with an allergy statement is not consumable – no exceptions! (oh how she misses those Kit Kats). Yes there are gray areas, eating at restaurants etc...but there are very few places we feel comfortable with. Yes, it's frustrating, and disruptive, but certainly manageable, especially now that our society has become less ignorant about food allergies. Our daughter had a very high RAST test score last time, a few years back, but she is now in high school and pretty much just a 'normal' kid. I think once they get older, the 'routine' of checking labels, asking wait staff, etc. has become no big deal and less of an “embarrassment.” That's my encouragement to you, it does get better. So others think you're pushy? Again, unless one has a child with a peanut allergy, he/she doesn't fully understand the unpredictability of a food allergy reaction. It can be mild or severe, even life threatening. So keep pushing, your child's life is at stake!

By warriormom7 on Feb 9, 2011

my pa 13 mo dd ate at chick fil a a few times before we found out about her pa and never had a reaction. so after we found out, knowing that she had never had a reaction before, and armed with epipens, we have been several times recently with the same result--no reaction. she has a pretty high RAST score (21.6, a class 4 allergy) and so far seems immune to any problems with peanut oil. i wonder if people with higher RAST scores may be the ones who are allergic to oil as well. from all accounts that i've read, refined peanut oil contains little to no peanut protein, which is why it is tolerable for her. it may be irresponsible of chick fil a to make this statement, especially if people with pa are having reactions to their food.

By Hrg2 on Mar 13, 2011

Highly refined peanut oil should not present a risk. It appears that several people have eaten here without incident so I would not worry all that much about it. Given that you are worried and decided to put the word safe in quotation marks indicates that you would not fill comfortable eating there. If you are not comfortable there you will not enjoy your meal. I am not trying to be mean but your verbiage and use of quotes tells me that you do not believe the compiles website information. Good for you on doing your research and due diligence regarding then use of any sort of peanut products. It shows you really care. Please do what you think is best for you and your family and thank you for posting this information for the community.

By lilpig99 on Mar 13, 2011

Better yet...follow your allergist's advice.

By Andowen on Sep 17, 2011

I took my 8 yr old daughter, who has an allergy to peanuts and treenuts, to eat at a Chik-fil-a. She got hives on her lower jaw while she was eating her nuggets. It was the last time we ate there. I only recently found out they use Peanut Oil, so yes, a reaction can happen. Just depends on your kiddo i guess. Better safe than sorry, theres plenty of good places to get a bite ;)

By gamouchet on Sep 23, 2011

There are plenty of other places to eat. As for me and my daughter, who is allergic to peanuts, we won't eat there. Why take the chance?

By Haleyndkrvrkls r on Aug 3, 2012

They cook their fries in canola oil. And I just get a GRILLED chicken sandwich.

By MadelynesMom on Dec 3, 2012

Wow..I am amazed..and NEVER knew that refined oil may/may not be safe! But that does explain a lot!

I will tell you our experience BUT will also say that our motto was, is and will always be NO NUT PRODUCTS at all!! We are taking no chances!

Our daughter, 8yrs old, was at a picnic late this summer and ate part of a chicken patty and french fry cooked in peanut oil..long story short..she had absolutely no reaction at all! We never had her officially tested but did always carry an Epi-pen due to a severe reaction at age 3 yrs. After that scare and having no reaction I finally did have her officially tested thinking she grew out of it..and thank goodness I did! She has not grown out of it and we are more concerned now than ever..but this does explain why she did not have a reaction to the peanut oil. She tested over 100 for peanuts which is a 6 I think on the RAST test and over 8,9,12 which is in the 3 rating for other allergens and from what I understand--bad enough.

This was shocking since we never knew the actual number/rating but we are not taking any chances..with or without the Epi-pen!

By CVRTBB on Dec 5, 2012

What I have read in the past is that cold construed peanut oil (the more expensive kind) still has the peanut protein in it and the heat extruded is (supposedly) safe.

My son loves salad and that's what he usually got when we would go to Chik Fil A. He did try the nuggets one time but said his throat felt itchy and he had a few small hives. He has not eaten there since to my knowledge. He was diagnosed at 11 months and is now 17 1/2.

By tom626 on Mar 8, 2013

I have a moderate peanut allergy and I have eaten at Chick-Fil-A twice. Both times I experienced mild delayed-onset reactions. The first time I was unable to pinpoint the source since I had eaten several other things that day. The second time confirmed my initial hunch that Chick-Fil-A was the culprit. Neither reaction was nearly as bad as some other life-threatening ones I've had in the past (due to tree nuts, which I am much more severely allergic to). But I would definitely not allow my children to eat there if they had a peanut allergy.