Does Chick fil A Use MSG? – Is The Rumor Real?

By Phillip Adcock
Last updated: Jan 8, 2023
Does Chick Fil A Use MSG?

Chick-fil-A, a popular fast food restaurant in America, is originated by a man called S. Truett Cathy in 1967. Cathay and his brother initially opened an Atlanta diner, but its successful development has led him to establish a fast-food chain called Chick-fil-A.

This store is well-known for its amazing food and customer service, with more than 2400 restaurants spanning many states and countries. 

Does Chick Fil A Use MSG?

Yes, most nuggets and sandwiches at Chick-fil-A have MSG in their ingredients. 

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is used to enhance the food’s flavor for many years. However, some people report that there will be some dicky symptoms after eating food that contains MSG, and Chick-fil-A has coped with this suspicion for a long time.

The reactions caused by MSG include weakness, chest pain, headache, flushing, quick heartbeat,… and so on. These reactions occur in a short time, and there isn’t enough proof to make sure that the food additive causes the symptoms. 

We can check the Chick-fil-A fast food ingredients directly in their restaurants or on their website because this store publishes them on the Nutrition and Allergens page. 

However, MSG can be listed as a seasoning, not an allergen, and this can be omitted on the website of Chick-fil-A today. 

Does MSG Have In Food At Chick-fil-A ?

Yes. For many years, Chick-fil-A has used MSG in some cuisines. Their website also shows that some items here have MSG to enhance the flavor, especially the chicken nuggets.

MSG is generally used in chicken, in both chicken and chicken coating. The recipe contains MSG in the seasoning agent and the powder coating, making the chicken tastier.

In chicken, MSG is the third item on the ingredients list, and ranking seventh in the chicken coating.

Every item containing chicken inside can have MSG, such as Chicken Nuggets, Classic Chicken Sandwich, or Salads.

The waffle fries have MSG in the seasoning salt to make the coating more crispy. If you are nervous about this ingredient, you can order French fries or straight-cut fries.

Does Chick-fil-A Use MSG in Grilled Chicken?

Does Chick-fil-A Use MSG in Grilled Chicken?

Like other chicken, Grilled Chicken in Chick-fil-A has MSG to add an umami flavor to the chicken. 

This fast food chain has spoken that they would try to find another way to support their customers who are sensitive to this food additive.

Chick-fil-A offered a list of Grilled Chicken in 2019 on Twitter, including grilled items for customers who don’t want to consume MSG.

Chick-fil-A Items Without MSG?

If we want some MSG-free items at Chick-fil-A, we can follow the list of Grilled Chicken consisting:

  • Grilled Nuggets 
  • Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich
  • Grilled Market Salad
  • Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich.

Most fries don’t have MSG or have MSG only in the seasoning salt containing MSG. So we can order fries without seasoning salt or fries instead of Waffle fries.

With Salads, we can choose Spicy Southwest Salad or Market Salad that is mixed with grilled chicken, not nuggets.

Should We Be Concerned About MSG In Our Food?

Sometimes. According to the FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration), this flavor enhancer is generally safe. There is no regulation in using MSG, so we should use enough to make the dishes more excellent.

If we use MSG in a small amount, it may not cause any negative effects. MSG is used in many dishes, especially fast food and Asia cuisines. There aren’t any cases where MSG leads to death by eating normal food.

But we can have allergies to anything. If we have side reactions for a long time after consuming MSG, we should see a doctor and check our food carefully.

MSG can be listed by different names such as “Yeast Extract”, “Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein”, or “Textured Vegetable Protein”. Sometimes, they don’t need to be labeled, be careful!


Is MSG Tasted?

MSG doesn’t have a distinctive flavor. If we eat only it, it seems like salt but not too savory. When MSG is dissolved in liquid or agent, it adds to the mixture’s flavor a natural sweetness. It is called “umami” flavor. 

Normally, MSG is in the solid form with transparent crystals. We can discover MSG in nature from mushrooms, seaweeds, or by stewing meat, and bones… which have the ingredient named Glutamic Acid. 

What Are The Benefits of MSG In Food?

As a flavor enhancer, MSG brings out the tasty flavor for the cuisines. If we don’t have natural materials or time for stewing, MSG can be a savior for our meals.

Researchers assume that MSG decreases Natri. Using a little MSG can relieve the salty flavor in food and reduce the amount of salt in our bodies which means cutting back on cardiovascular disease rates. 

How Can You Tell If Food Has MSG In It?

MSG is identified on the labels or in the ingredient part of food products as a flavor enhancer whose codes are MSG or 621 or food additives with code numbers from 622 to 625. 

In some cases, the derivative extracts containing MSG will not be labeled because they are in one of the food ingredients. So we should ask doctors or manufacturers if we have any allergies to MSG before using the items. 


For foodies who are still nervous about Chick-fil-A MSG is used on its items, but not all. 

If we have some problems with MSG, there are still many options for us to enjoy at this fast-food restaurant chain. Let’s try! It may bring us amazing food and convenient customer service.

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* Disclaimer: We do not buy, sell or provide service, we only share with you our trusted sources, and experience. In case of any changes in the products or services of the companies, all the information below is supposed to change at any time.

Phillip Adcock is the founder and Managing Director of the research agency Shopping Behaviour Xplained (SBXL), a shopping research organization using psychological consumer insight to explain and help consumers answer their questions about stores and services.

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