What can you eat at Zaxby's if you are sensitive to MSG?
by N J Howell
The GMO Threat
Note: Zaxby's hasn't made it particularly easy to identify msg in products on their website. In fact, on Zaxby's food allergens page, MSG isn't even listed as an allergen. It's under a discreet little tab titled "sensitivities". Personally, I don't need the labeling to know that Zaxby's food has monsodium glutamate. I was miserable for hours after eating there and that's proof enough for me. However, last time a friend got some food there, I checked the ranch dressing and sure enough, it's there by name.
It isn't always the case. Even when a restaurant takes the step of revealing products that contain monosodium glutamate by name, they usually do not mention that there is hidden msg in many, many, many other ingredients they may be using. Nor do they list free glutamic acid, a form of msg., If you are severely allergic to MSG in any form, please contact a Zaxby's customer service rep rather than relying on wait staff or website, to rule out free form glutamic acid and/or hidden msg in their foods.
Monosodium in Zaxby's Food? How can you tell?
I've just spent about 15 minutes on the website for Zaxby's, looking for an ingredient list on the products. Finally found one under sensitivities section. I didn't have to go far to see that Zaxby's has hidden msg that they are not disclosing. The second sauce, bbq sauce, says "no" msg in item yet lists as ingredient "food starch-modified".
The next item, Roadhouse Ranch, despite being listed as an msg-free item, contains maltodextrin, whey, food starch-modified and artificial flavors. These are all ingredients that often or always contain hidden msg. In general, the dressings contain other ingredients I don't care to consume as well including high fructose corn syrup and propylene glycol alginate.
Zaxby Foods with Suspect Ingredients .... These don't say MSG on the labels but have ingredients that often hid monosodium glutamate or have excitotoxin properties.
Zaxby's Fried White Cheddar Bites - modified food starch and whey
Zaxby's Onion Rings - disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, maltodextrin, whey, yeast extract
Then, we have foods that list monosodium glutamate by name, such as The Zaxby "Tater Chips".
The Zaxby's boneless wings is where it starts to get interesting. They are full of ingredients known to contain hidden msg - modified food starch, seasoning, hydrolyzed corn protein, yeast extract, artificial flavoring, maltodextrin, chicken broth powder, chicken broth, hydrolyzed soybean protein and two common msg boosters which are disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate. MY RECOMMENDATION? STAY AWAY FROM ZAXBY'S BONELESS WINGS IF YOU HAVE MSG ALLERGIES!
The Zaxby Chicken Fingerz has msg listed twice and that's most likely not a misprint. It means they've added two doses. Amazingly, the chicken wings appear to be simply chicken wings fried in cooking oil. So, if you gotta eat at Zaxby's, the wings appear to be a safe bet as far as msg goes
The Fried Zalad will give you at least two doses of monosodium glutamate while the Zensation Salad probably has 3 or more doses, counting the sauce.
Being extremely allergic to msg (monosodium glutamate) myself, and being aware that msg is an excito-toxin, I tend to stay away from any food that gives me an msg-type reaction so suffice to say that Zaxby's is not on my list of places I want to eat.
Monosodium Glutamate is in every fast food restaurant I've checked so far, including Ruby Tuesday, a sit down restaurant, and fast food giants like Chick-Fil-A.
Health Care Disclaimer: Monosodium Glutamate is consider a safe ingredient to consume or the FDA would not allow it in our foods. I STRONGLY DISAGREE with this. MSG is toxic or it would not be the top ingredient reported to the FDA for side effects. Excitotoxins have no business in our food. The FDA does not require msg that is hidden in other ingredients to be disclosed so it's often a risk to eat anything except organic. Free glutamic acid may cause msg-like reactions in some as well. Foods that naturally contain free glutamic acid included parmesan cheese, shrimp, crab, lobster, turkey and peanut butter. If sensitive to msg, you might avoid these foods as well.