Five Guys Burgers & Fries… and peanuts, and more peanuts, and more!

I was told recently that a new Five Guys Burgers was opening near us. I had never been in a Five Guys Burgers before, but had heard good things. Being a “burger aficionado” (not something I usually brag about), I was excited to give it a shot.

I still haven’t made it to the new restaurant, but I did get a “taste” of Five Guys Burgers from an article in the Norwell (MA) Mariner and realize my children won’t be coming with me. (Thank you to AllergyEats member Jocelyn for bringing my attention to this article – “One nutty experience at Five Guys Burgers”)

It’s a pity that the Norwell Mariner doesn’t post all of their articles online because Laura Anderson wrote an engaging, serious piece about her family’s experience (with some appropriate humor thrown in perfectly). Since I can’t link to it, I’ll try to do it justice by summarizing with the key paragraphs.

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My husband thinks I’m trying to kill him… but I swear that I’m not.

The other night, my older son invited four of his friends to sleep over. The mother of one of the boys generously offered to take us all out to dinner first at Pizzeria Uno’s. Not wanting my younger son to feel left out, I planned for my husband to take him to dinner at the new Five Guys Burgers restaurant that just opened in town.

[At this point, the author shares how allergy-friendly Uno’s is and the boys’ great experience there that night.]

About an hour after we arrived home, my husband and younger son came back from the movie. I asked my husband, “How was Five Guys Burgers?”

“It was a death trap,” my husband replied, in all seriousness.

Okay, a little background information here. My husband also has severe food allergies. Quite a lot of them. The list is too long to print here, but two of the many items on his list are white potatoes and peanuts. Had I done my research, I might have suggested another restaurant for him to try. But I inadvertently sent him in blind.

“First of all,” he began, “they have peanuts everywhere. People are eating peanuts at every table, there are peanut shells everywhere and there are cases of peanuts stacked along the walls.”

“There were also sacks of potatoes all along the wall, and it turns out that all their handmade, fresh French fries are fried in peanut oil. It’s right there on the menu in big letters.”

My husband explained that at that point he immediately popped an antihistamine and waited in line. Luckily, the burgers were safe for him, but he couldn’t even touch the French fries bag from which my son was eating, soaked as it was in peanut grease. He added that they finally found a seat at a counter, right next to a tower of peanut boxes stacked on cans of peanut oil.

I apologized to my husband and reassured him I was not trying to kill him; that I had just neglected to research this new restaurant everyone was talking about. I can’t imagine why a restaurant would feature peanuts when there are so many folks today who are allergic, but I guess they are successful enough without that particular consumer segment.

Thankfully my husband emerged unscathed, but for the grace of God. From now on, he can stick to Uno’s and other allergy-friendly restaurants.

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The author, Laura Anderson, makes reference twice in this article to her lack of advance research. This is where AllergyEats (www.allergyeats.com) could have served as a great resource. Not only do the ratings provide a first filter, but the comments can provide more color (and possibly could’ve warned her about the peanuts everywhere), as can the menus, allergen-lists, website links, and other valuable information. AllergyEats and outside blog entries also grace the “Details and Comments” page too (so now every visitor to the Five Guys pages will see at least this entry). And lastly, the phone number is also included on every listing, so she could have called in advance with the key questions we all have to ask before dining at a new restaurant.

This is the most important takeaway. As a food-allergic diner or caretaker of a food-allergic child, we must always ask questions before eating at a new restaurant. Further, we must ask these same questions again and again at those restaurants we typically dine at! AllergyEats has a link to some great dining tips by myself (just published here) and others that propose some of the key questions we should be asking. And again, the core AllergyEats site is a great resource to start your restaurant research.

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ADDENDUM:

I just went through the Five Guys website and found the following under FAQ:

Q: If so many people are allergic to peanuts, why does Five Guys continue to offer them?
A: Over the past 20 years, peanuts have become part of the Five Guys identity. We by no means want to exclude guests from our store, but at the same time we would not want to disappoint our peanut eating guests. We make sure that we have signage on our doors and in our restaurants about the fact that we serve peanuts in bulk containers as we would never want someone to risk their health by coming into our restaurants.

Q: Why can’t we take peanuts outside?
A: Although it is rare that a casual encounter with peanuts will cause an allergic reaction, we want to limit the risk of someone unknowingly coming into contact with peanuts.

Q: What type of peanut oil does Five Guys use?
A: We use 100% peanut oil

Q: Is Five Guys Gluten-Free?
A: Our buns contain eggs, soy, dairy and gluten.

Q: Do any Five Guys products contain soy or dairy?
A: Our rolls contain both soy and dairy.

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So what are your thoughts about this article (or my comments)? Have you been to a Five Guys Burgers and Fries? What has your experience been? Click on Comments or Reply below to have your say.

And please be sure to rate all your restaurant experiences at the main AllergyEats site (www.allergyeats.com). Our growth has been tremendous, but there is still so much more to go. Every single rating you add increases the value of this resource for our entire food allergy and intolerance community. Not a bad way to spend one minute.

Comments

    Author:
    Melinda
    Written:


    I’m in Northern Virginia, where Five Guys originated, so I’ve been around the restaurant for quite awhile. We ate there fairly often before my son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. And yes, there are peanuts everywhere. There is also a sign by the front door of each restaurant stating that peanut oil is used, and that there are open containers of peanuts in the restaurant. So while it’s disappointing that we can no longer go there while our son is with us, they are open with the fact that it’s not safe for those with allergies before you even walk in the door.

    Do I wish they would drop the whole peanut thing, and make it safe for everyone? Of course. But it’s their choice to lose the business of people that would be able to eat there if they got rid of the peanuts.

    Author:
    Jan
    Written:


    Interesting.
    Five Guys posts a peanut warning on their door which you can clearly see before you enter the restuarant. They even ask you not to take Peanuts outside.
    Peanuts, Burgers, and Fries are Five Guys. It doesn’t sound like the author is blameing Five Guys for anything but it does sound like she is irritated. Nonsense. I have two children with food allergies and we have to be very careful where we eat. I of course frequent restaurants that can cater to us but I do not hold it against a restuarant that can’t.

    Author:
    Janet Frongillo
    Written:


    Like the author, our family attempted to go to Five Guys, not knowing the danger that lurked inside. We walked in, saw the peanuts everywhere, and promptly backed out and left in a hurry!
    The thing is, the restaurant has every right to serve peanuts however they’d like, but my beef is, they had a teeny, tiny warning sign on the door that we didn’t even notice. I think they should at least have a large sign on the door, like Texas Roadhouse, warning peanut allergic folks not to even come in. I actually emailed them on their website stating this, and no one from the company even bothered to respond to me—I can only assume bc they figure I’ll never be a paying customer. I think they are being irresponsible.

    Author:
    Janet Frongillo
    Written:


    Actually, Jan, I don’t agree that it’s clearly posted. It’s a very small sign that my husband I both missed when entering the restaurant. The one at Texas Roadhouse, on the other hand, is HUGE, and impossible to miss.

    Author:
    Sherry
    Written:


    Hi there,
    I personally encountered 5 guys in Fort Collins Colorado…. Now that they have opened locations in my town, Austin, Texas… I can never go there, since our son is HIGHLY peanut/nut allergy. I personally would call them 5 GUYS and NUTS! I truly think they are overkilling their idea that they fry items in peanut oil. I mean, if they used vegetable oil would they have a jungle of veggies all around? My thoughts… they REALLY don’t care to serve ALL people with knowing how widespread and growing peanut allergies are to kids and adults. If I was the spouse of the one that sent me to this burger place, OR a parents of one of the kids that went with the husband I would be FURIOUS that he placed his life on the line JUST for a burger!! That in itself is crazy!

    Author:
    Judy
    Written:


    I definitely feel sorry for those of you with a peanut allergy, but I’m gluten intolerant and I give kudos to Five Guys (in Austin, TX) because it’s one of the few places I can go to and order a burger without a bun and fries and not worry about getting glutened. And for me the peanuts add to the fun of Five Guys. There are plenty of restaurants that I would not walk into because I know I will get glutened even though I order gluten-free. So peanut allergy people just have to learn that Five Guys is not a restaurant that they should go to. Leave the fun for those of us with other allergies. There’s no reason for them to stop cooking their fries in peanut oil because it’s obvious that the place is covered in peanuts, but remember that not everyone has your allergy and there’s a ton of more places that people with gluten intolerances can’t enjoy. Give us this one. And don’t blame Five Guys. They definitely don’t keep it a secret about their peanuts.

    Author:
    paula attridge
    Written:


    Why wouldn’t you do your research before you sent someone with allergies to a restaurant??????? That is just plain stupid in my opinion. Also, had I been the gentleman, I would have left. There are plenty of other options out there.

    Author:
    Tara Gatscher
    Written:


    Since Five Guys are making a boatload of cash, they really dont care about any of us. However, I do appreciate that there is a sign on the door. Well, at least all the kids in my sons class who are banned from bringing in peanut prducts to school can get their fill of nuts for dinner at Five Guys. I’ll bet in 5-10 years as more and more people become food allergic, they will see there numbers dwindle…

    Author:
    Angie
    Written:


    It’s kind of the same thing with grocery stores. Why do they have the big open bins of peanuts right along side the fruit?!?! Can they not put them in a bin with a lid along with all the other bulk nuts and bulk goods? I get that peanuts are Five Guys ‘thing’, but why have bins everywhere and on the walls? Or why cook the fries in peanut oil instead of vegetable oil? At least then they could cater to more people.

    Author:
    Debbie
    Written:


    I am a mom to peanut/tree nut allergic child and before I go to any new restaurant I always inquire what their policy is towards food allergies. It is MY job to make sure my child eats a safe meal. I do not begrudge Five Guys for serving peanuts. We live in America where we believe in free enterprise.

    Author:
    Jesse
    Written:


    Hi. My daughter is severely allergic to milk and egg proteins, so, like others with food allergies, we are restricted when it comes to dining out. Cross contamination is a big issue for us -so french fries, chicken fingers, and other fried foods are off limits because they are fried in the same oil as things like mozzarella sticks or battered fish/chicken. However, we have had a positive experience with Five Guys because the ONLY thing that goes in their oil is the french fries. They have also been great (and we have been to 3 or 4 different locations in MA and NH) about cleaning the grill to prepare a burger for her, and then, putting it on a bed of lettuce instead of a bun (has milk/egg). I’d be just as happy if they used vegetable oil, rather than peanut oil, and skipped the whole peanuts thing to accommodate even more people, but, just wanted to chime in that milk and eggs are often overlooked when it comes to the allergy world, and, for some of us, Five Guys has actually been a great experience. My daughter is 8 1/2 and this was her first time eating french fries at a restaurant!

    Author:
    AEPaul
    Written:


    There has been a LOAD of comments on the AllergyEats Facebook page about this entry, so I thought I’d share them here (see next comment).

    I must say, though, that I think this has been the BEST discussion we’ve ever had on this blog. Great debate. As an aside, I published this entry for informational sake, not to pass judgement. In fact, I personally agree with those who suggest that Five Guys should do whatever they want, and I applaud the chain for trying to be upfront about their “peanut fetish.” We’ll have to do without our Five Guys burgers and they’ll have to do without our dollars. That’s capitalism.

    Author:
    AEPaul
    Written:


    Here are the comments from the AllergyEats Facebook page (www.facebook.com/allergyeats):

    Jen – If a restaurant is going to use peanut oil, putting peanuts everywhere is a good warning for the peanut allergic. If I walked in to Five Guys with my peanut allergic son we would have turned right around and left.

    Kristen – Great article! Sad that we will never be able to try a 5 guys burger! Interesting at this day and age with so many food allergies that restaurants aren’t accommodating!

    Mike – Not every restaurant is going to be able to accommodate every food allergy. There are so many of them, it’s not realistic. 5 Guys has decided not to even try, and at least they’re up front about it. Fortunately their burgers and fries are nothing special, so you’re not really missing anything.

    Donna – From what I remember they don’t have much for people with a dairy allergy either. I heard they’re not so great anyway.

    Kelly – I had no idea. My daughter has a peanut allergy, so I won’t be taking her to Five Guys for sure.
    On a side note, I was told by her allergist that people with peanut allergies can *usually* have foods cooked in peanut oil (by large chain companies that use good quality peanut oil). Is this not actually the case for most people with peanut allergies? We haven’t tested that theory yet at home.

    Katie – I have no problem with 5 Guys. We obviously don’t eat there, but there are lots of places we don’t eat! Places like Red Robin get our business because they go so far out of the way to feed my child safely.
    Peanuts are not the only allergen, and as a mom with a daughter with multiple anaphylactic allergens, I sometimes get frustrated at the anti-peanut push. My daughter’s most severe allergen is milk, something that is impossible to not have around.

    Janet – We tried going there, saw the peanuts EVERYWHERE, and backed right out the front door! My only complaint with them, bc they do have the right to serve peanuts, whatever, is that we didn’t even see their warning sign on the front door. IT was very, very small. At least at Texas Roadhouse, the sign is so large you wouldn’t miss it. And when I emailed the company to tell them that, they never got back to me which I thought was pretty rude.

    Sue – A 5 Guys recently opened near us. I had no idea of the peanut situation. As I have a son who is highly allergic to peanuts, I am glad to know this before we ever ventured into that place. He loves burgers and fries, so it is highly likely that we may have ventured there.

    Sarah – Trust me, you aren’t missing anything! The first time I went to one we left our children at home to go Christmas shopping (they are the ones with the food allergies). Five guys was ok, but so not worth the hype. Their burger was mediocre at best, the atmosphere was just like any other fast food place. Don’t feel left out, there are better burger joints that are much more allergy friendly.

    Donna – Katie, my daughter is anaphylaxic to milk also and I thought Red Robin was great but it depends on which manager is there which day because some seem clueless while other are so wonderful…

    Janessa – There is a peanut warning posted on their front door…
    And warnings posted throughout their restaurant.
    Burgers and Peanuts ARE Five Guys. Every restaurant does not need to accommodate us – it is our responsibility to do our due diligence prior to eating anywhere. I respect the restaurants that provide information that allow us manage our/our kids’ allergies.

    Donna – Sooo true my daughter can’t eat ice cream but I’d never say all ice cream places should close up lol…it would be nice if places like Friendlees had other options for dairy allergy family members but they don’t so we just stop at Rita’s ices on the way :)

    Dm – well, I didn’t know they were burgers and peanuts. Glad to know so I never take my girls there!!

    Taquanda – The burger are good when I visited there. I did see the sign and sice my son has peanut allergy I didn’t take him and who never visit ther when he is with me. I don’t think every thing has to accomadate food allergy suffers they just have to make sure it WELL known if the 8 allergens are present anywhere. It’s up to consumers to make smart choices. It’s scary thing to have allergies and easy to make mistakes but all we can do is trust God and do the best we can. He ultimately is the one that keeps our kids safe.

    Tanya – When a Five Guys opened next door to my son`s martial arts gym, I stopped in to check it out. There were bags of peanuts stacked everywhere. The manager was nice but recommended I not feed my son anything from their menu. The only problem I had was that the customers would eat peanuts on their patio & throw the shells down. They would blow across the sidewalk where my anaphylactic son would have to wade through them to get to class.
    As far as peanut oil, my son has accidentally eaten food cooked in it on two occasions with no ill-effects. So it`s possible it wouldn`t harm someone peanut-allergic. But we don`t take the chance just in case it isn`t “pure” and may have a stray peanut protein in there someqhere.

    Jen – I don’t have any nut allergies but gluten due to Celiac Disease. 5 Guys opened in my area in the last 2 years and researched before going there. I was amazed when I saw all the peanut warnings but liked that they said the only gluten in the store was the buns. I decided to go and try it. I did see the warning on the door about peanuts right away.
    After ordering a bunless burger explaining that I was highly “allergic” to gluten instead of sitting and waiting for my order to be called but to stand and watch them put the burgers together. I watched them put all these orders together than saw one was “No Bun” so took the bun off and reapply the toppings(which they only have shredded lettuce so its a burger patty wrapped in foil with whatever toppings, no leaf lettuce). I had a feeling it was mine. I watched it as a hawk, sure enough it was. I calmly asked for a manager and strongly pointed out that what they just did if I hadn’t caught it would have made me very sick for the next week and raise my chance of all cancers.
    They remade my burger but don’t feel safe enough to go back except maybe a slow time which I’ve never seen.

    AllergyEats – GREAT feedback everyone!
    – I agree that we can’t, and shouldn’t, expect every restaurant to cater to our community. And I do applaud Five Guys for being up-front about it on their web site and on their door. The point of sharing the article was to provide information rather than suggest they should change who they feel they are. They have accepted the fact that they’ll lose the peanut-allergic community. Obviously, they’re OK with that. So am I.
    – Donna, the FAQ on their site (the link is in the blog entry) addresses dairy and gluten too.
    – Kelly, I’ve never heard the theory you’re referring to. I’m certainly not an allergist, but I personally wouldn’t take the chance (unless the Dr’s office wants me eating fries there in a food challenge).
    – Katie, peanuts are certainly not the only food allergy. They do get a lot of attention, particularly due to the fact that they seem to have a higher rate of anaphylactic effects, but the world is becoming much more educated about all of the Big 8 allergies. And let’s not forget that so many, many people have non-Big 8 allergies. In fact, of individuals with food allergies, my informal study of AllergyEats members shows that their are 23 allergies which more than 2% of our population have!!! Further, while dairy is difficult (one of my children has it), I would go on to say that corn and soy are even much more difficult. So you’re right, our ENTIRE food allergy community needs to stay together.
    – Tanya, the FAQ on their website (again, linked from the blog page) specifically addresses that customers should NOT be bringing peanuts outside for the very reason you mentioned. You might want to show that to the manager.
    Sorry for the long message here. These comments are GREAT! Keep ’em coming!

    Dm – SO many times ppl think that just removing the allergic item will fix the problem. they don’t realize that residue remains.
    One of my girls is ingestion type peanut allergy. another is inhalation type, so she only needs to SMELL any peanut …product and she has a reaction. Their allergies are so bad that we are afraid to have our little one tested but must since she will be starting school in the fall. So, we cannot even go near peanut products. None in the home. Then, we recently learned about the sesame seed/peanut/tree nut relationship. Its scary.
    A couple summers ago, we discovered how bad it can be. our one girl is also allergic to anything in the legume family, as peanuts are was sitting in the lawn in shorts. It caused a reaction bc clover is a legume. My quick thinking got the reaction under control but who would think of that!?!? I’m glad they post their info but what Jen said is really scary!!
    Like Jen, I watch all my food that is prepared at fast food places bc while I’m not allergic, I do have sensitivities to sweet pickles so I never eat pickles out and always ask them to just not give it to me. I often appologize and explain that I am allergic bc they don’t understand the sensitivity. I have had some places tell me to just remove it from the plate. Or they remove it prior to bringing it out and the moment I taste pickle, I spit it all out and stop eating. While its not anaphylaxis, its a very horrible reaction.
    I never go back to those restaurants. Honesty is critical in any food allergy/sensitivity case.

    Katie – My comment wasn’t meant to start a what allergy is the hardest debate. My daughter has a lot of allergies (incl 2 non-top 8) and it was just an example of a food that I could never expect to be eliminated from most environments. I was just saying the the uproar over peanuts is frustrating to those of us who are dealing with more than peanut allergies.

    AllergyEats – Totally understand Katie. Hope MY comments weren’t taken out of context either. Just trying to further add to the info sharing. (And this issue of corn and soy came up recently on another message board, so I thought it appropriate to share.)

    Dm – @ Katie. Please don’t take it that I was saying that either. Just trying to share some info as I believe we all are.
    My oldest has a milk senstivity. Its everywhere. I cannot imagine her being fully allergic. So I cannot imagine your struggle. She was pretty bad as an infant with it but we have since been able to give her limited amounts.
    Please don’t take the anti-peanut thing as my saying to elliminate them completely. My point is that there are allergens, not just peanuts, that are inhalation type. That is scary. No more so than ingestion type except that all they have to do is smell it. Yet the result is just as scary no matter how the exposure happens.
    Please don’t think of us “peanut moms” as being unreasonable. We, like everyone, want a safe environment for our kids. Thats all. btw, my oldest girl also has allergies to plantain, melons, dairy, and a long list of other allergens. Its just that in her case, the peanuts are the worst and most life-threatening. But we watch all of the allergens. We watch environments.
    Personally, my in-laws and most of my own family have been wonderful about it. As the schools have. Unfortunately, my own sister recently plopped a plate of brownies with what looked like peanut butter chips in them. Her comment, “I don’t know what kind of chips they are. Just keep [her] away from them.” Kinda hard since she put the plate in the middle of ALL the food. I am very vocal about it because of this flippant attitude.
    Regardless of WHAT allergy it is, we all have a hard time trying to ensure the safety of our kids. I appreciate learning more about things, both about what can affect my kids as well as neighboring kids. I mean, I never thought about clover like that. And I never thought about sesame seeds giving a hard time to someone with tree nut allergy. And I am thankful that this site gives me info bc I had no idea about the peanut thing at this restaurant. We cannot possibly know every restaurant, right?
    I have to give you kudos tho for finding solutions to the dairy allergy and sharing them. I remember doing that with my oldest. Its not easy, esp in a social setting, like when they are with peers.
    I sooo agree with Debra that one day, those ppl who are not educated about food allergies need to walk just one day in our shoes. Its not something I’d wish on my worst enemy yet, we all deal with it daily, don’t we?

    Karen – The peanut oil being safe for the peanut allergic depends on the sensitivity of the person along with how well refined the oil is. Supposedly, highly refined oil has none of the proteins left in it. It’s for this reason that if the only soy product in an item is soybean oil, under law it is excluded from having to be listed as containing soy. I don’t know if this is also the case with peanut oil as I don’t personally deal with that allergen. I’m very sensitive to soy and so avoid the oil also just in case, but I have accidentally ingested it on occasion, sometimes with ill effect, and sometimes with none. Since labeling of soy oil is not required, I can’t trust restaurants that just have a checklist of the allergens for each food. I have to be able to read the ingredients.

    Author:
    Verna
    Written:


    I’m another person with Celiac that can’t have gluten containing foods. Five Guys has become one of my fav. places to eat out because I can get the burger without a bun & they’re very careful not to cross-contaminate. The meat is cooked on a separate grill from the buns & I can get grilled onions & mushrooms to go along with it – as well as all the other fixings you’d normally find. The potatoes aren’t fried with anything else so there’s no contamination there either. I can even bring my own bun if I want to.
    I’m sorry those of you with peanut allergies can’t enjoy their food, but, for me it’s a win-win situation.

    Author:
    Robyn
    Written:


    I heard all the fuss about 5 guys and that they served peanuts so we made a decision never to eat there. Our personal preference. BUT what happened to my son is an important lesson. My son was at school lunch when a boy next to him offered him a fry from his left over dinner the night before. My son took it (Ok he’s 12 and should know better), but then another friend said, “hey Brett, they cook their fries in peanut oil.” Brett dropped the fry and learned an important lesson. Even if you don’t dine at 5 guys you need to remember your protocols and not just take food and assume it’s safe.

    Author:
    michabu
    Written:


    I have eaten at Five guys at the airport in DC and never saw any notice of peanuts/ or peanut oil. I am allergic to tree nuts not peanuts so it would not be a problem for me but it would be for my severely allergic son, fortunately he does not eat meat so he would not find himself at the restaurants but it makes me wonder if they are free with their peanuts at the airport where containment would be more of a problem since the space is wide open to the main terminal. I actually ordered from the take out counter, I will check it out next time. Thanks for heads up Allergy Eats!

    Author:
    AiXeLsyD13
    Written:


    “Five Guys posts a peanut warning on their door which you can clearly see before you enter the restaurant. They even ask you not to take Peanuts outside.”

    Couldn’t have said it better. Peanuts is part of their whole shtick/experience.

    I have a shellfish allergy. I don’t expect to be able to eat at Long John Silvers, Red Lobster, or Joe’s Crab Shack.

    Author:
    Bill
    Written:


    As with all eating establishments, I inform them of my allergy and specifically what I am allergic to “as bun” and explain what it will do to me. You cannot just tell them “no bun”

    Author:
    Joyce Anderson
    Written:


    I’d heard that 5 Guys used peanut oil, but I had no idea about the peanuts on the table. We will avoid this place for sure! Thanks for the heads up.

    Author:
    Jim Pond
    Written:


    The peanut oil used pervasively would send you son to the ER. It’s not the mounds of peanuts everywhere, its the oil that the food is cooked in. We can’t step foot in the place.

    Author:
    Beatrice
    Written:


    A Five Guys Burgers opened in my area recently. Last week I decided to get lunch there. I had no idea that peanut oil was used in the food. Just walking in and waiting in line for a couple of minutes caused my eyes and face to swell up. I emailed the company and the email stated that they have taken out the allergen in the peanut oil and it should not effect anyone with allergies to peanuts and that there are signs posted on the outside and inside of the restaurant.
    Being respectful to their business, I do not ask them to change anything about their restaurant, only having bigger signs on the outside of the restaurant stating they use peanut oil. I did not see the signs on the outside of the restaurant stating “they use peanut oil” before entering. I only saw signs stating how great their food was and look on Zagat. On the inside of the restaurant I saw one statement of peanut oil use on the menu above the cashiers. I did notice a box of peanuts next to the order line. Usually peanuts in their shells don’t bother me, however peanut oil in the air does effect me. I don’t want to walk into a restaurant and go into anaphylactic shock and/or suffocate from my throat swelling up. I had no idea that a burger restaurant would use peanut oil.

    Author:
    CoMom
    Written:


    I have seen many people posting that they wish 5 guys used vegetable oil instead of peanut oil. One thing to keep in mind though…my daughter has a SEVERE soy allergy (and also a dairy allergy). Most people with soy allergies can still eat soybean oil (depending on how it is processed or expressed), however she happens to be one of the people who cannot even eat soybean oil in any form. Many vegetable oils contain soybean oil as a part of their “blend”. Therefore, we cannot eat fries at all the typical fast food joints. Thank goodness for a place like 5 guys since it is one of the only fast food chains left that doesn’t use vegetable oil so we are able to go there. I can only imagine the struggles those with a peanut allergy deal with, however, the solution isn’t always to have places to switch to something else…

    Author:
    Anthony
    Written:


    Regardless of freedoms, free enterprise, etc. I will still not eat there or support them until they change their policy. There’s no reason to have peanuts all over, they are doing exactly what they said they try not to… exclude a group of people. Like Logan’s, my family, close friends, and myself will support their business.

    Author:
    Charles Cull
    Written:


    I went to Five Guys with my daughter tonight for the first time having heard such rave reviews about how great the fries and burgers. Fortunately, I did notice the peanut oil sign on the menu and could not believe it! I was so shocked I just could not shut up about it and the guy behind the counter got defensive and even said that fries cooked in peanut oil are the best. Well, first off, that is completely subjective, and I believe completely false. Even having a mild peanut allergy I have tried fried cooked in peanut oil and was not impressed. In my opinion fried cooked in good ole beef grease are the best, and I quite eating McDonalds and all other fast food place fried when they started being politically correct and stopped using real grease. Oh, and the burger??? Tasted like it was from Rally’s to me! I will not be back and was not impressed at all.

    Author:
    Jeff S
    Written:


    Sheesh, all I can say is WAAAAH. There are places amongst us everywhere that serves peanuts, Five Guys is not alone. Just about any roadhouse/saloon style steakhouse you go to has mass quantities of peanuts as well.

    I do understand some aggravation over food allergies, as I am allergic to chicken fat. Where as places like Five Guys do advertise they have peanuts everywhere, no one advertises they use chicken products in stuff that is not chicken, mainly chicken stock.
    When I go out, I can never eat hot dogs or pepperoni’s because most places uses mechanically separated chicken. I can’t ever order any turkey products or have stuffing because a lot of manufacturers uses chicken stock to cut costs. I go to places I like and order things that I know are good and safe to eat. It’s not a big deal to me at all. So everyone complaining about Five Guys’ peanuts just needs to get a grip. They are famous for it, and they should not get rid of it. If you don’t like it, then don’t go there.

    Sorry about the tone, but I’m just so sick and tired of everyone whining about everything these days. Turn back the clocks to the 80’s and prior, all this complaining was unheard of. Back then if you didn’t like it, you didn’t bother with it.

    Author:
    Rachel
    Written:


    Hello,

    Jeff, you complained about complaining.

    Also, for those peanut allergy people, Chick-fil-a uses peanut oil too. And most importantly, as Sherlock would say… Do your reasearch. :)

    Okay, now the REAL reason I’m commenting is because I am allergic to what is normally heard of as MSG. There are 40 other names for it including citric acid and barley malt. I just want to know where Five Guys gets their buns because I don’t think they make them there. Barley malt/Malted barley is used commonly in bread, like gluten, which I KNOW they use. Can someone find out for me?

    Thank you

    .

    Author:
    Chris
    Written:


    Okay – according to five guys menu. . and from i’m reading the peanut oil used at five guys should be safe for people with a peanut allergy. It doesn’t seem to be cold pressed/etc

    My son just got diagnosed. . .seems to me five guys is still on the list, and a french fry shouldn’t hurt (since Peanut Oil that has been refined shouldn’t cause a reaction)

    Author:
    Clint
    Written:


    I have several food sensitivities/allergies and the entitled attitude in a few of these comments is too much.

    The rest of the world should not change things to suit you, PERIOD. It is called sacrifice. We all have to do it at times. For instance everything I eat at Subway it causes intestinal distress within 5 minutes of finishing eating. Everytime, ALWAYS. I think it is a response to something is their absolutely disgusting chemical laden bread. I looked up subway bread ingredients and some of the breads have over 40 ingredients.

    My solution is to NOT eat there. Subway is some of the lowest quality food available in the US anyway. So if peanuts and peanut oil is a no no avoid places that use them.

    Author:
    T.
    Written:


    I’m sorry if you have a peanut allergy, but I have a severe casein and soy allergy. Almost ALL fast food restaurants are completely OFF LIMITS for me, except for Five Guys. Most fast food restaurants cook in soybean oil (and they say that’s not supposed to affect people with soy allergies, but I must be special lol, and not in the good way), or they fry their stuff with other stuff that has dairy or soy in it anyway. So cry me a river! Plenty of fast food restaurants do not use peanuts or peanut oil, so go to the myriad of restaurants that don’t. You have tons to choose from! Sonic, McDonalds, Burger King, etc. But don’t complain because one restaurant uses peanut oil and has peanuts. I swear, some people are so self-centered. They must think the axis of the earth runs through their head.

    Author:
    Miss Tee
    Written:


    The above comment said it best.
    The most important aspect of having an allergy is DOING YOUR RESEARCH! It isn’t anyone else’s job to do that research for you. How can you talk badly about a restaurant or suggest what they should and shouldn’t do because YOU did not take your health seriously enough to research and ask questions??? Their job is to serve what they want seeing it was their vision, money and hard with that went into it. They have been quite successful thus far even though you seem to think “so many people have peanut allergies.” In that case, so many people don’t either.
    There are so many allergy friendly places you can eat. The world does not revolve around you and this is the least to complain about when it is SO EASY to avoid.

    P.s. Five Guys isn’t even all that. Geesh.

    Author:
    Amber
    Written:


    Then go to Texas Roadhouse Janet. It’s known that they both serve peanuts, I’ve never seen a big sign at Texas Roadhouse ever. But I did notice five guys warning on the menu board about the oil they use. Some restaurants don’t even know the oil they use. Where it’s an inconvience for us don’t make it like they have to stop serving them or put we have peanuts next to the restaurant sign on the building. Be fair. They’re trying more than others. Like chickfila has it posted no where about the oil they cook in. I didn’t know until after I got sick cause the cashier said vegetable oil.

    Author:
    marci
    Written:


    duh people! check with your allergist. it is the protein in peanuts that you are allergic to. the oil has none of the protein in it. oil is highly refined and processed. you can eat the fries cooked in peanut oil.
    the whole peanuts laying around can definitely be a problem, though.
    if you have an allergy in your family, why dont you educate yourselves!! that is the best way to be safe.

    Author:
    Ashley
    Written:


    I think it’s crazy and highly entitled for people to think that restaurants should cater to every allergy out there. I’ve recently found out I’m allergic to soy. Try finding restaurants that are soy free! It’s a terrible allergy to have, and Five Guys is one of the few places I can actually have a full meal and not just fries and fruit like some places. (Or nothing at all in most. EVERYTHING has soybean oil or lecithin in it, I swear. And the government doesn’t require those to be listed as allergens, so I can only eat if they provide an ingredients list.) I don’t begrudge restaurants for serving what they want. They’re obviously doing something right, because they’re growing and thriving. I’d *love* to be able to eat out more often than I can, but for now, I make do and make most of my food. I understand the frustration, trust me, but expecting places to cater to us is ridiculous. There are tons of people with allergies, but it’s still a small portion of the population. We’re just “lucky”, I guess. 😉

    Author:
    Donna
    Written:


    I personally am super happy that they use peanut oil to cook their fries! My son is allergic to soy and it seems that every resturant use soybean oil. This is the one resturant I can go to and actually enjoy a REAL french fry. Don’t get me wrong I feel for the people with a peanut allergy, but you can enjoy fried foods at like every other resturants while I cannot

    Author:
    Jake
    Written:


    The fact of the matter is, fries that are cooked in peanut oil just taste better in MY opinion. For those of you that have nut allergies, obviously you can’t prove or disprove this. There’s something distinct about their fries, and besides the fresh ingredients use every day, I truly believe the peanut oil adds to the unique taste. It would be nice if they offered an alternative for those with nut allergies, but there would be a lot of liability with possibility of cross-containimation. Or if a worker were to make a simple/stupid mistake that’s not worth the risk of implementing alternative cooking methods for their fries.

    Author:
    Janet Shaw
    Written:


    I have a gluten allergy. They offered me a lettuce wrap instead of a bun for my burger. It was delicious.

    Author:
    Robert
    Written:


    I’m highly allergic to bananas, peanuts, and certain grains.

    However, I support Five Guys. If they were made to get rid of peanuts or to stop cooking their food in peanut oil, their food would taste different – and they would be just like many other ho-hum burger shops. At which point, you may as well just go to one of those other shops. It’s the peanuts that make them what they are, so if you’re allergic, you choose another shop rather than trying to shape them to what you want.. which is already well-covered by dozens of other chains. It’s none of my business.

    So long as they properly warn of the peanut use. Big signs, perhaps even peanut artwork on them. That’s fair.

    Author:
    Elaine
    Written:


    The peanut oil is refined removing the proteins that cause an allergic reaction. Now it’s a totally different story if one cannot be in the same room with peanuts because of the boxes of them around the restaurant. My girls have to ingest peanuts to have a reaction and they can eat at 5 Guys and Chik fil-a, who also uses peanut oil.

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