Saturday, March 4, 2017

How Gluten-Friendly is Your Lunchmeat?

Lunchmeat seems like a simple thing- you chose from turkey, ham, beef, or chicken, and it's sliced in the deli to your specifications. Like with most foods though, there's a potentiality of hidden gluten in some varieties of lunchmeat, which make visiting the deli counter at your grocery store a potential gluten-free pitfall. 

Inspired my recent lunches that feature a turkey or chicken sandwich, I decided to do some lunchmeat sleuthing to see how gluten-free friendly top brands were... or where not. 

Before going any further, I have to acknowledge that sliced meat is not a perfect gluten-free home run. Slicers could be a place for cross-contamination, so it's important to ask a few questions before ordering meat sliced in-store. Here's some points to keep in mind:
  • Ask if the meat and cheeses are sliced on separate slicers.
  • Slicers are their most sanitized at the beginning of the day. Shop early or place an order ahead to have the staff slice your meats/cheeses at the beginning of the day.
  • If desired, ask the staff to slice the meat with a knife to avoid a cross-contaminated slicer.
  • Not comfortable with the deli slicer at all? Try prepackaged certified gluten-free deli slices.

Dietz and Watson

Info: All cheeses are gluten-free and all except the scrapple and bockwurst are gluten-free. Over 400 of their products are certified gluten-free from the CSA (see more about that certification here). 

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Boar's Head

Info: All meats and cheeses made by the company are gluten-free. Find a list of dairy-free products right here.

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Oscar Meyer

Info: Lunchmeat giant Oscar Meyer's "Selects" line of lunch meat features cold cuts that are gluten-free and made with no artificial ingredients, flavors, or by-products. These are the least processed of their lunchmeat lineup. 


Info: All deli meats are gluten-free and dairy-free, all cheeses are gluten-free. All products are non-GMO and antibiotic-free.

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Info: All meats and cheeses are certified gluten-free by the GIG (more info about that certification). 

What are your preferred sandwich toppings? Comment below! 

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