Media Statement: Allergen Policy
Over the past week, there has been discussion related to the change we’ve made to our menu and the presence of allergens in our restaurants. We appreciate and take very seriously the concerns expressed to us by families and individuals with allergies. McDonald’s Canada has worked closely with Food Allergy Canada for many years, including consulting with them on this recent change. While we value and respect their expertise and input, it’s incumbent on McDonald’s and McDonald’s franchisees to best manage our businesses with the health and safety of our guests and employees as our top priority.
The truth is we have made a significant change to our menu. But let’s be clear -- this is not about one new dessert item (Skor McFlurry). Rather, this is about a holistic change to our business and the addition of menu items containing nuts that are not individually packaged. The significance of this change requires a change to how we communicate about the presence of allergens in our restaurants. We believe this change requires an open, fully transparent and accurate communication about the change to our menu strategy - so that’s what we’ve done. While some may argue with our approach, we know it is the best, most responsible and right thing to do.
What hasn’t changed is our commitment to preparing all our menu items with the highest standards of care. Our first priority is still, and will always be, ensuring the health and safety of our guests and their families. We have an obligation to ensure that our guests have all the right information so that they can make the most informed decisions.
While we continue to take every effort to minimize cross-contamination in our restaurants, we have never been a nut-free or allergy free environment. To hold McDonald’s alone to this standard is unreasonable and beyond anything required of any other brand in our industry. According to Restaurants Canada, McDonald’s Canada’s new policy is consistent with others in the food service industry.
As always, McDonald’s Canada will continue to engage in an open and honest dialogue with our guests, industry experts and other stakeholders about the presence of allergens in our restaurants. But one thing’s for sure -- we will always err on the side of caution when it comes to communicating allergens in our restaurants. It’s simply the responsible thing to do.