Are OU potato chips bishal akum?
There is no problem of bishul akum in any type of potato chips.
Sources: Potato chips are a snack, which is not consumed at meals. The Gemara teaches that only those foods which are served at a king’s table together with bread are prohibited (see Rambam, Laws of Forbidden Foods 17:15, who uses the same expression). The implication is that only foods served as part of a meal are prohibited.
Although Rambam adds (17:18-19) that even parperes, which is usually understood as a dessert, is prohibited, such foods remain a part of the meal—Rashi writes the parperes is classically food and drink (such as fish or wine) served as an introduction or conclusion to the meal. However, the prohibition would not apply to snacks (such as potato chips) that have no connection whatsoever with a meal. Thus, even if a king might sometimes eat a snack, this would not place the snack under the prohibition of bishul akum, because the snack is not eaten as part of a meal. In addition, the use of the expression “a king’s table” implies that only those foods conventionally served at an important meal are prohibited, and not foods that would be out of place at an important meal (the reasoning being that unimportant foods would not lead to invitations and closeness between Jews and non-Jews).
Thus we find that Peri Chadash (113:2) writes that foods that are served for dessert alone are permitted, a ruling confirmed by Chasam Sofer (annotations to Shulchan Aruch, 113:1; see, however Beis Meir 111). The same would apply to potato chips and similar snacks.