This is a follow up post to the post I made two weeks ago on my visit to Jack Astor's. A few of you expressed concern about the cross-contamination issues at Jack Astor's, in particular the fries and nachos. I can't speak for all locations but I emailed the Sherway Gardens location in Etobicoke (Toronto) to ask about the possibility of cross contamination issues with the fryers.
The Assistant General Manager at the Sherway location says it is standard practice at Jack Astor's to have dedicated fryer for the fries and nachos (together) so both of them are gluten-free. The other, non-gluten-free menu items are cooked in a different fryer.
The nacho chips themselves are fried first thing in the morning prior to lunch service, and again prior to dinner service. They are fried in the same fryer that we cook our fries in. So there is no cross-contamination. Our fries are not coated in flour, they are simply potatoes. Other products that are coated in flour are raw proteins thus are cooked in a separate fryer all together. This is standard practice at Jack Astor's. All products are stored in separate containers per ingredient. Now with other items, as long as we know in advance of the allergy, we will prepare the food to order separately. For example, rice noodles, or vegetables that would usually be cooked in the steam basket with pasta would be cooked in a separate pot altogether. It's a little more labour intensive, but we like to make sure that we give our guests what they ask for. Hope that answers your questions.
Assistant General Manager
Jack Astor's Sherway Gardens
I suggest asking your local Jack Astor's to make sure they follow the same procedures. Hopefully your location is also safe because the nachos are delicious!