Is Five Guys Oreo creme gluten-free?

Five Guys is a popular fast food chain known for its burgers, fries, and milkshakes. Many customers enjoy customizing their burgers and shakes at Five Guys, including adding Oreo to milkshakes for an Oreo creme treat. For those with gluten sensitivities or who follow a gluten-free diet, an important question arises: is the Oreo creme used in Five Guys milkshakes actually gluten-free?

What is gluten and why do people avoid it?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For most people, consuming gluten is not an issue. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause negative health effects. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the small intestine is damaged when gluten is consumed. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) refers to a condition where gluten consumption causes symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and fatigue, but does not damage the small intestine like celiac disease.

The only treatment for celiac disease and NCGS is following a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding foods and ingredients containing wheat, barley, rye, and any derivatives of these grains. People with celiac disease or NCGS must be very careful to check labels and ask questions when eating out to ensure no gluten is consumed. Even small amounts of gluten can cause issues.

Are Oreos gluten-free?

Oreos themselves are not gluten-free. Oreos contain wheat flour, which means they contain gluten. Some key ingredients in Oreos are:

  • Unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour)
  • Sugar
  • High oleic canola oil and/or palm oil and/or canola oil
  • Cocoa (processed with alkali)
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Soy lecithin
  • Vanillin
  • Chocolate

The unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour) in Oreos makes them not gluten-free. Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity need to avoid Oreos and other products containing wheat flour.

What about Oreo creme?

While the cookies themselves contain gluten, some people wonder if just the creme filling inside Oreos may be gluten-free. The creme filling is made of:

  • Sugar
  • Palm and/or canola oil
  • Cocoa
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Soy lecithin
  • Vanillin

Based on this ingredient list, the creme filling itself does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients. However, there is still a risk of cross-contamination with the gluten-containing cookie part of the Oreo. The creme filling is manufactured on shared equipment alongside wheat-containing products. So while the creme has no gluten ingredients, it still has a chance of being cross-contaminated.

Are Five Guys Oreo milkshakes gluten-free?

Now we get to the main question – when Oreo creme is used in a Five Guys milkshake, is that milkshake gluten-free? Unfortunately, the answer is no. While the Oreo creme itself may not contain gluten, Five Guys cannot guarantee there is no cross-contamination with the gluten-containing parts of the Oreo cookie. Additionally, their milkshakes are made on shared equipment alongside wheat-containing items. So there is a risk of gluten exposure through cross-contamination.

On their website, Five Guys states:

Menu items may come into contact with wheat/gluten during preparation. If you are a guest with a wheat/gluten allergy, we advise that you do not consume our products.

While the Oreo creme may not contain gluten ingredients, Five Guys cannot guarantee it will be gluten-free by the time it makes it into a milkshake due to cross-contamination risks. They recommend those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities avoid their milkshakes and all menu items.

What about other milkshake toppings?

In addition to Oreo, Five Guys offers other toppings for their milkshakes like M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, bacon, salted caramel, peanut butter, and more. Similar to the Oreo, while some of these toppings may not contain gluten ingredients, Five Guys cannot guarantee they will be gluten-free in the final milkshake due to cross-contamination.

Bacon bits topping could potentially be gluten-free, but it depends on the brand and Five Guys preparation. M&Ms contain gluten ingredients so they are definitely not safe. Overall, those with gluten issues should avoid all Five Guys milkshakes and toppings.

Are any Five Guys menu items gluten-free?

According to their website, French fries are the only gluten-free menu item at Five Guys. Their fries are cooked in dedicated fryers separate from gluten-containing items. However, they still warn that the fries may come into contact with gluten during preparation and service, so they cannot guarantee zero cross-contamination.

Their burgers and sandwiches all contain gluten buns and are prepared on shared grills and prep areas. Milkshakes also have cross-contamination risk as covered already. So French fries, while not guaranteed gluten-free, would be your safest menu option at Five Guys if you need to avoid gluten.

Tips for ordering gluten-free at Five Guys

If you need a gluten-free meal at Five Guys, here are some tips:

  • Stick to the French fries as your main item, and ask them to be cooked in fresh oil in a dedicated fryer
  • Avoid burgers, sandwiches, and milkshakes due to cross-contamination concerns
  • For a drink, stick to soda, water, or milk
  • Ask about the ingredient lists and preparation methods for any sauces or toppings
  • Tell the staff you have celiac disease or a gluten allergy so they take precautions
  • Check that gloves are changed and clean utensils used to prepare your food separately

Keep in mind that French fries are your only menu item that may be gluten-free at Five Guys. The environment contains high risk of gluten cross-contamination from buns, shakes, and shared prep areas. So those with celiac disease or sensitivity need to weigh the risks vs benefits when choosing to eat at Five Guys.

Gluten-free fast food options

If you need to follow a gluten-free diet, fast food can be challenging. Here are some tips for other gluten-free fast food options:

  • In-N-Out – Protein style burgers wrapped in lettuce (note shared grill risk)
  • Chick-fil-A – Grilled nuggets and waffle fries (dedicated fryer)
  • Chipotle – Tacos, salads, bowls with corn tortillas or no tortilla (flour tortilla risk)
  • Wendy’s – Baked potato or chili, salads
  • Subway – Salads with gluten-free dressings
  • Qdoba – Tacos, burritos, bowls with corn tortillas

Be sure to confirm preparation procedures and cross-contamination risks when ordering. Some items may be safer than others depending on the restaurant. Knowing your options helps you choose gluten-free when eating fast food.

Gluten-free milkshake options

If you want a gluten-free milkshake, your best bet is to make it yourself at home. That way you control all the ingredients and avoid cross-contamination. Here are some easy gluten-free milkshake ideas:

  • Chocolate milkshake – chocolate ice cream, milk, cocoa powder
  • Vanilla milkshake – vanilla ice cream, milk, vanilla
  • Strawberry milkshake – strawberry ice cream, milk, strawberries
  • Peanut butter – peanut butter ice cream, milk, peanut butter
  • Mint chocolate chip – mint chocolate chip ice cream, milk, chocolate chips

Use certified gluten-free ice cream varieties and check that any add-ins like peanut butter or chocolate chips are also gluten-free. You can use a blender or milkshake maker to combine the ingredients. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

The bottom line

Those with celiac disease or NCGS need to avoid all menu items at Five Guys, including Oreo milkshakes made with Oreo creme from the cookies. While the creme itself may not contain gluten, the risk of cross-contamination from gluten-containing sources is too high at Five Guys. Your safest option is to avoid Five Guys altogether if you need strictly gluten-free food. Stick to dedicated gluten-free restaurants or make milkshakes at home to satisfy your cravings!

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