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Hungry Jack's - A Coeliac's (gluten free) no-go Destination!
EDITED TO ADD THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT 8-SEP-10:
LAST REVIEWED 7-OCT-10:
Please note that the following information with regard to fries only applies to Australian outlets outside of Western Australia only. I have been informed that dedicated fryers are used for cooking their fries in this particular region of Australia. West Australian franchises are managed separately to those in other states and territories around the country. Please forgive me for any misunderstandings I may have caused by being 'overly cautious'. This is good news for individuals travelling around, or living in, Western Australia. Please note that Hash Browns are cooked in the same vat as other gluten-containing items at stores across Australia, including W.A.
Hungry Jack's - Bring on the Coeliac Disease! BRING IT ON!!! :@
I have had many years of Coeliac Disease, dating back to when gluten free bread was a rare commodity, and must admit things have definitely improved. They really have. I was pleased to come across the Hungry Jacks Australia website and see that there were "No known allergens" present in their french fries and hash browns, remembering that they used to be deep fried in the same oil as onion rings and chicken nuggets. That was, until I saw some complaints in Sleepless Nights mentioning that the information on the website is incorrect. After having contacted them myself, I was told that they do in use the same oil for frying battered foods as their fries and hash browns! The No Known Allergens statement on their website portrays misleading and false advertising! [Edited 7-Oct-10: Fries SHOULD be cooked in a separate vat from other items.]
As a fellow Coeliac sufferer, I feel compelled to help others where I can. I have had many experiences, both good and bad. Each hub posted about businesses misusing the gluten free term is legitimate. Opinions are not submitted unless they are substantiated. I do my very best in this regard to warn my fellow Coeliacs about particular issues, especially with foodservice outlets.
Hash Brown info on Website
Their Hash Browns(/Fries) are NOT what they say they are!
If you were to look at the Hungry Jacks website, and look for their ingredient listings for fries and hash browns, you would discover that there appears to be no gluten or any allergens present in the product.
If you were to then go to a Hungry Jacks store and buy the chips or hash browns without asking the staff before-hand, however, you could get yourself into BIG trouble!
Some Coeliac consumers are complacent about following up on matters related to their health. Others don't like to advertise being on a gluten free diet. Accurate information on the web is VITAL for individuals to make informed decisions as to the foods they can and can't eat. Either ACCURATELY list the ingredients or DON'T provide a listing online at all!
So, what can I say to such consumers out there?
SIMPLE! Don't waste your time with these guys! They clearly aren't interested in being of any assistance to us coeliacs (except for maybe bun-less burgers) and as can be seen are not one bit trustworthy. I know for a fact that soy, milk and other allergens are present in the hash browns, too, due to cross-contamination. This is NOT declared properly, either!
It is ILLEGAL to not provide accurate ingredient information! None of the following: wheat, rye, barley, oats - are declared! Yet the aforementioned hash browns and possibly fries contain gluten, due to cross-contamination. From what I hear staff don't even know what's going on!
This is definitely a no-go destination for any Coeliac and I would urge you as an affected individual to avoid them at all costs. They have not addressed issues that are repeatedly arising and completely deny their flawed information on their website. COMPLETELY!!
EDITED 7-Oct 2010:
Here is an allergen guide, that states that fries SHOULD be cooked in a separate vat (I wouldn't become too optimistic, though):
This is NOT good enough, and I will be reporting this issue to the relevant authorities as I feel this nonchalant attitude about labeling could become a life-threatening case if preventative action isn't taken!
Leave a reply, and let me know your views. I would be interested on others' opinions, especially with relation to this particular Hungry Jack's scenario.