Frequently Asked Questions
What types of potatoes do you use for your products?
At this time, our McCain branded French fries are made from a variety of potatoes: Shepody, Ranger Russet and Russet Burbank which are all white potatoes. Most recently, we have added Sweet Potatoes.
How can McCain products fit into a healthy diet?
Our transition to non-hydrogenated oil (NH Oil - Zero Grams Trans Fat Oil) means we are able to supply our customers with a product with significantly reduced trans fat. McCain products, when used within the USDA Food Pyramid guidelines, help meet nutritional guidelines for healthy eating.
Are the nutrition facts based on the potatoes before they are cooked or after?
The nutrition facts are based on the product in the frozen state as purchased.
I am a school nurse/dietician, can you send me the nutritional information for specific products, as needed for meal reimbursement requirements?
Find child nutrition facts for our products here.
Ingredient and Allergen Information
Are there McCain products which contain no gluten ingredients?
Yes. However, some products do contain gluten ingredients. Consumers are encouraged to review their dietary restrictions with each product’s ingredient statement. It is always important to read the ingredient label each time you purchase the product to determine if the product has been reformulated with different ingredients.
What is dextrose?
It is a natural sugar derived from corn that is added to replace the color depleted during the making of the French fries; it does not add any sweetness.
Where does the caramel color come from?
The caramel color is derived from corn.
What is annatto?
It is a red food coloring. It is most commonly used in the dairy industry to make cheese and butter varying shades of yellow. It does not contain milk allergens.
What is modified potato starch?
Modified starch is one that is physically changed from its original form. Modifying a starch can most readily be seen in instant pudding mixes which allows it to thicken without cooking.
What is calcium lactate?
It is a mineral; it is not derived from milk or dairy.
Do your products contain tree nuts or peanuts?
We don’t manufacture products that contain ingredients sourced from tree nuts or peanuts, nor are these ingredients brought onto our production floors.
How does McCain identify allergens on product labels?
McCain Foods USA labels product in accordance with the laws and regulations issued by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). This requires the identification of the following allergens on the packaging: milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans. McCain manufactures various potato and snack food items using vegetable oils that have been highly refined and deodorized. According to regulations, there are exemptions for declaration as an allergen when these oils, sourced from an allergen (i.e. soybean), have been highly refined and deodorized. This process significantly reduces the protein which elicits the allergic response.
Are your products Kosher?
McCain Foods works with the Kosher certifying agencies of the Orthodox Union, Circle K and Triangle K. Kosher Pareve certification symbols are included on the front of packages that maintain that specific certification.
Product Handling, Storage, and Preparation
Can I cook my product in the microwave?
Consumers should follow the cooking instructions on the bag. For most of our products, the packaging does not list the microwave as an acceptable method for cooking. Our products are not designed to be microwaved and, as with all cooking methods, need to be fully cooked for food safety and quality. The microwave does not brown/crisp. In addition, due to varying wattage of microwaves, an exact cooking time to yield food safety and quality has not been determined. Microwaving too little can result in soggy/uncooked product and too long can result in dry/hard product.
Certain McCain products recommend using a dark baking sheet. Is that really necessary?
Yes, all McCain products should be baked using a dark baking sheet.
Are your frozen French fries already fried?
Yes, some of our products are par fried in vegetable oil. Par frying is a hot, fast, frying method that prepares the product for the cooking instructions as noted on the package. All of our products require additional preparation/cooking prior to eating; they are not considered ready to eat.
Are your frozen potatoes pre-cooked?
No, none of our products are pre-cooked. While some products are blanched or par-fried during manufacturing, this step does not cook the product. All of our products require additional preparation/cooking prior to eating; they are not considered ready to eat.
How do I close the bag once opened?
Tightly securing the open end with a rubber band or “chip clip” works nicely.
Is it safe to use the product once it is thawed?
We do not recommend using any of our McCain potato products if it has been thawed.
If I have a problem with the product, should I return it to the store?
That is one option. If the store is unable to resolve the matter to your satisfaction, we are happy to work with you to find a solution. Our Consumer Affairs department can assist you by telephone, email, or letter. Contact information can be found on the bag or our website.
I have purchased McCain frozen product. Is it safe to consume this product after the best by date?
For best results and taste, we do not recommend eating product after the best by date.
Is there BPA in the packaging?
No. There is no BPA in the packaging.
Why are there slits in the packaging?
There are slits in the packaging to remove the air from the bags prior to packing them in a master shipping case. Without the air, we can use a smaller case and reduce packaging and freight.
Can you send me coupons?
Although we value your interest in our products, we do not distribute coupons upon request. We work with retail grocers to periodically run in-store sales or promotions on our products. Please watch your grocer sale papers or store shelf for special pricing.
I wish to suggest a business proposal to you? How do I go about doing that?
We do not accept business proposals, recipe ideas or marketing suggestions. We have a staff of Research & Development and Marketing individuals who develop these ideas in house.
Can I purchase product directly?
No. We do not sell direct to consumers at this time.