Do McDonald’s Nuggets Have Dairy? (All You Need To Know)

For those sensitive to dairy, eating out can be troublesome and stressful. Items you would never think to have dairy often do, especially at a fast-food restaurant. Plus, cross-contamination is a real problem.

McDonald’s has many items that appear dairy-free, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. Keep reading for more information on whether or not the nuggets at McDonald’s contain dairy!

Do McDonald’s Nuggets Have Dairy In [currentyear]?

McDonald’s nuggets do not contain dairy in [currentyear]. There are no dairy ingredients in the ingredient list, and the company says its nuggets as a dairy-free product. However, cross-contamination can occur at many locations. Usually, strict cross-contamination policies are not in place. For this reason, you should be cautious about ordering the nuggets at McDonald’s.

If you’re looking for information on other common McDonald’s menu items, take a look below!

Can You Eat McDonald’s Nuggets If You’re Lactose Intolerant?

The McDonald’s nuggets themselves do not contain any dairy. Therefore, those who have lactose intolerance can often consume them without any problems.

However, there is always a chance of cross-contamination. That said, McDonald’s stores do not change the oil between frying each item.

Therefore, many of the company’s other foods are cooked in the same oil as the nuggets.

If you’re extremely sensitive to dairy, the nuggets may contain enough to make you sick. Still, the small amount of cross-contamination possible won’t upset most people’s stomachs.

Also, some locations use a separate fryer for dairy-including and dairy-free items to avoid cross-contamination. But, this varies substantially from store to store.

So, we recommend asking the manager at the McDonald’s store if this is a particular concern for you.

Are McDonald’s Fries Dairy-Free?

In the United States, McDonald’s fries contain dairy, even though this isn’t the case for fries in other locations due to a difference in the formula.

However, the company does use dairy in fries sold in the United States. Therefore, the only dairy-free side you can purchase from McDonald’s in the US is apple slices.

What Type Of Dairy Does McDonald’s Use?

What Type Of Dairy Does McDonald’s Use?

Several items at McDonald’s use butter. For instance, many McDonald’s buns have butter on them.

While only certain sandwiches are supposed to include butter, many establishments simply butter all buns. Furthermore, many of the sauces at McDonald’s include milk.

Additionally, several fried products use milk in the batter, and these items are often fried in the same oil as non-dairy items.

Does Cross-Contamination Occur At McDonald’s?

Yes, cross-contamination is prevalent at McDonald’s because the fast-food restaurant uses the same oil to fry multiple menu items.

With that said, some stores have better cross-contamination policies than others. Because McDonald’s is a franchise, these stores have differing policies.

However, there are no overarching policies that prevent cross-contamination. So, you may want to look for food elsewhere if you have a serious allergy.

Additionally, just because a food is listed as not containing dairy doesn’t mean it isn’t cross-contaminated.

What Are McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Made Of?

There are several ingredients in McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets. However, the main ingredient is whole, white chicken.

On top of that, water, salt, seasonings, and sodium phosphates (a preservative) are used.

These ingredients are extremely simple and not what many critics would expect. Still, these nuggets are made with real chicken and don’t contain any potentially strange ingredients.

Further, the nuggets do not contain any dairy, though other items at McDonald’s do. But, cross-contamination is always possible, so be cautious.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on where to buy McDonald’s nuggets, can you reheat McDonald’s chicken nuggets, and sauces at McDonald’s.


Surprisingly, McDonald’s’ nuggets are completely dairy-free. There is no dairy on the ingredient list, and the company has regularly agreed that its foods are dairy-free.

However, cross-contamination can easily occur. Therefore, if you’re extremely sensitive, we recommend being cautious about ordering these nuggets.

Further, many store locations do not have strict cross-contamination procedures in place.

As a franchise, though, policies can vary from location to location. When in doubt, ask your manager if your needs can accommodate.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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