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Cooking Oil & Allergies [split from Quebec Board]

blond_america Mar 12, 2010 11:43 AM

I have no personal experience with peanut allergies but i remember reading this on wikipedia once so i'll post it here:

Research indicates that refined peanut oil will not cause allergic reactions in most people with peanut allergies. However, crude (unrefined) peanut oils are strongly flavoured, and have been shown to contain protein, which may cause allergic reactions.

Not saying they shouldn't let people know but maybe they are using some really refined stuff and it isn't really a concern. Just something i ran across before.

[Note: This thread was split from the Quebec Board board at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693434 -- The Chowhound Team]

  1. afoodyear Mar 13, 2010 05:57 PM

    My wife does not have severe (that is, automatically fatal) allergies to peanuts, but had a reaction to eating just a few of their fries (hives, shortness of breath, etc.)

    I guess because frites are so commonplace everywhere, and peanut oil used to fry them is not, most people don't think of it as taking a risk to order them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: afoodyear
      porker Mar 13, 2010 08:22 PM

      I dunno,
      I think using peanut oil to fry potatoes is more prevalent than you may suspect.

      It's about 3 times more expensive (than vegetable oil, or hydrogenated vegetable oil), but simple filtering usualy adds longer life if the oil is used only for potatoes when compared to other oils used for multi-frying.

      Yes, I think to cover bases, it may be wise to advertise the type of oil being used. But on the other hand, if a person is severely allergic, I think the ultimate responsibility lies with them to ask about possible allergens in all aspects of their life, food prep or otherwise.

      In other words, be responsible for yourself at all times and don't assume this or that.

      But thats just me.

      1. re: porker
        meinNYC May 5, 2010 10:53 AM

        It's not just the oil the potatoes are fried in, it's what else is fried in the same oil. If a restaurant has deep fried nut coated items or deep fried fish then even if the oil itself is safe whatever other allergens are crosscontaminating that oil will make the potatoes a hazard. ( if you have those allergies) Always scan the menu for everything and ask if the fryers are shared. At least in Canada sesame seed is considered an allergen.

    2. p
      Plateaumaman Mar 13, 2010 10:27 AM

      I doubt people with severe peanut allergies would take the risk with peanut oil though. I was once in a train and the guy sitting in front one me asked everyone in our train car if anyone had peanut allergies before he dared to open his granola bar. Which was kind of odd but he had some theory about peanut allergies being airborne ..?

      Rotisserie St-Hubert fries everything in canola oil according to their website. List is filling up without any fries being consumed by me yet, which is best frankly.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Plateaumaman
        PadmeSkywalker Mar 13, 2010 10:41 AM

        My husband is allergic to nuts. Depending on the degree of sensitivity some people can go into anaphylactic shock just from smelling nuts/peanuts. I remember one time we were in the grocery store and they were baking peanut butter cookies and we had to leave because he started having trouble breathing. Even though most people with severe allergies carry around an epi pen all that gives you is 15 more minutes to get to the hospital before you basically choke to death if you start having a reaction.

        All of that to say that even though allergic people might not have an allergic reaction from peanut oil anyone in their right mind would not take the risk. It would be a bit like saying that a restaurant dish might have cyanide, why take the chance if you don't have to.

        1. re: Plateaumaman
          lagatta Mar 14, 2010 07:47 AM

          I have a friend who is allergic to canola oil, and it is hard for her to order many foods - not just deep-fried ones.

          1. re: Plateaumaman
            Vetter Mar 14, 2010 09:55 AM

            I have a dear friend who can't sit next to someone munching trail mix. Really, that guy was just being respectful. He probably has a buddy or loved one who is just that severely allergic.

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