March 25, 2011

Secrets to Becoming an In-N-Out Allergy Insider

Stickers for the kids, mostly clean bathrooms, fresh ingredients with a made-to-order menu, all at rollback prices.  We heart In-N-Out!  For your vacations/staycations this spring break, consider stopping at an allergy-friendly In-N-Out!
Although In-N-Out doesn't publish their ingredients like other fast food restaurants, their helpful customer service staff will answer all of your questions about ingredients, so ask away.  If you catch them during business hours, give them a call (1-800-786-1000), and get an instant response.

A few little known secrets for the In-N-Out insiders:

1. The food is made to order, and if you let them know you have food allergies, they will fire up a "dedicated grill" to avoid contamination from their other burgers (ASK for a dedicated grill).  Plus, most of the employees are generally allergy-educated (from my experience). 

2. You can get fries from the freshest batch if you ask for fries with "no salt."  When the next batch is fried, they'll scoop out your piping hot serving before salting... If you still want some salt, ask for some on the side.  And don't worry, the cottonseed oil is just for the freshly cut potatoes.

3. If you're egg-allergic, ask for "ketchup instead," and they'll replace the egg-based sauce with ketchup on your burger.

4.  If you're wheat-allergic, ask for a burger "protein style."  They'll replace the bun with a fresh lettuce wrap.

5. If you're dairy or egg allergic (or both), you can still have your bun!  That's egg or dairy in their buns.

6. If you've got the kids in tow, ask for stickers while you wait (we've also gotten some great paper hats by request for the kids to help pass the time on road trips, and made for a great Halloween costume a few years back). 
7. They open at 10:30 so for all you early lunchers like us, you've got somewhere to go when the kids start screaming HUNGRY!  And ask for your burgers "cut in half" (self-explanatory when you've got kids).
Check out In-N-Out's Not So Secret Menu for other variations on their made-to-order foods.  Remember: think made to order.  Even if it's not on any menu, they'll probably make it, so don't be afraid to ask.

Fast food can be safe and delish.  Happy In-N-Outing!


  1. Thank you so much for this!! It was just what I was looking for! My 5 year old son has severe food allergies and we are now excited about hitting up the new local IN and Out! yay!!

  2. This is fantastic, except I just called them and the person I spoke to had no idea what caseinates were except in cheese! So beware!

    1. Thanks! Yes, I recommend calling each restaurant yourself to find out what you can regarding yours or your child's allergies. If we all do that and educate a little each time, everyone will have a bit more knowledge. We've had success here many times, but we've also had a failure, so always be cautious and as detailed and specific as possible when dining out.

  3. The only allergy you did not mention is soy. The meat is safe and the fryer is safe but do not order cheese, buns, or their sauce for they all have some sort of soy ingredients. If you have a soy allergy the customer service said to order the hamburger protein style , without cheese, ketchup instead, and cooked dairy free allergy grill. In and out is still the closest fast-food place that can accommodate multiple food allergies. good luck moms this life with kids with allergies :-)

  4. My son is wheat-allergic but still he like to order wheat burger from in n out secret menu. I think your suggestion of using protein content in wheat burgers can prove advantageous to him.

  5. Be aware. We went to In-and -Out this week and my egg, peanut, and tree nut allergic son went into anaphylactic shock after 2 bites of his supposedly safe hamburger. We went during a busy lunch hour so they may not have been as careful as they have in the past. We ate in the car so I know it wasn't residue from the table. Epi-pen, ambulance, 24 hours in the hospital and everything is ok. But that fun lunch out during fall break sure didn't turn out to be so fun.

  6. I just asked at the drive thru and they said the buns did have eggs and dairy so please be careful. Maybe this has changed?