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Lunch meat: gluten-free and dairy-free list

Posted on April 7th, 2009 by Alison Read 26 Comments - Add Your Own »

applegatefarmsdelimeatLooking for a lunch meat you can eat? Here is a list of lunch meats by brand and their gluten-free and dairy-free (casein-free) information. Info about other processed meats — hot dogs, sausages, etc. — is coming in another post.

Note: This post was written on 4/7/09. Ingredients can change, so always read the label.

Applegate Farms

All Applegate Farms cold cuts and deli counter bulk meats are gluten-free and dairy-free. The lactic acid starter culture is not derived from dairy sources and is therefore safe for people with milk allergies. (confirmed via website)

Boar’s Head

Boar’s Head is saying loud and clear that all their meats are gluten-free (click to see!) All of their meats are also dairy-free EXCEPT these 4: Mortadella Bologna, Chorizo Sausage, Pesto Parmesan Ham and Italian Style Seasoned Roast Beef. (confirmed via phone)


All Columbus salame and deli meats are gluten-free. All deli meats are dairy-free, but there are some salame items that contain dairy. (confirmed via email)


Diestel deli meats are gluten-free and dairy-free and contain no artificial ingredients, no phosphates, no nitrites, no MSG. (confirmed via website and phone)

Dietz and Watson

Nearly all Dietz & Watson Meats are gluten free EXCEPT: Rotisserie Style Chicken, Scrapple, Bockwurst, Fat Free Beef Franks, Gourmet Lite Franks, Gourmet Lite Beef Franks, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Florentine and Chicken Portabella. Many of the lunch meats contain nonfat dry milk. (confirmed via website)

Hormel Natural Choice

I was pleased to find in my research that Hormel is now making a line called Natural Choice products that have no nitrites or nitrates added, and no artificial colors or flavors. Hormel Natural Choice Pre-sliced deli sandwich meats and Deli meats are gluten-free and dairy-free. (confirmed via website and phone)

Hormel also provides a list of gluten-free products on their website.


They do not mask any gluten ingredients under “flavoring.” Check labels for dairy. Not all are dairy-free and no list was provided on the website.
Jennie-O Turkey Store Deli items that are gluten-free (via website) are:

  • Deli chicken breast: buffalo style, oven roasted, mesquite smoked
  • Smoked turkey breast: mesquite, hickory, honey cured
  • Oven roasted turkey breast
  • Hickory smoked turkey breast: cracked pepper, sun dried tomato, garlic pesto, honey cured
  • NATURAL CHOICE® turkey breast: oven roasted, peppered, tender browned, applewood smoked, honey roasted
  • GRAND CHAMPION® turkey breast: oven roasted, tender browned, mesquite smoked, home style pan roasted, hickory smoked, honey cured, Cajun style fried
  • Turkey breast: oven roasted, peppered, smoked, tender browned, Italian style, honey mesquite, sun dried tomato, mesquite smoked, garlic peppered, hot red peppered, smoked peppered
  • Turkey pastrami
  • Turkey ham

Jones Dairy Farm

The people at Jones Dairy Farm have made a great effort to let everyone know that all of their products are gluten-free EXCEPT for Scrapple, and have even become a sponsor of the Celiac Disease Foundation. They were also kind enough to send me their products to taste! Everything I tasted — the Canadian Bacon, the Ham Slices, the Ham Steak — were delicious. I couldn’t bring myself to try the Braunschweiger (Liverwurst), but my 96 year old grandmother and my husband’s 93 year old grandfather loved it! And even though there is “Dairy” in the company’s name, their lunch meat does not contain dairy! More information: Jones Dairy Farms list of gluten-free products

Niman Ranch

All Niman Ranch meats are gluten-free. (confirmed via phone) Meats are dairy-free except for hot dogs (more specifics on hot dogs in future article).

Wellshire Farms

wellshirefarmssmartchart1Wellshire Farms products display a Smart Chart so you can easily see if it is gluten-free and dairy free. Also, you can do a search for products by allergy, including gluten, casein/dairy, lactose, nuts, corn, soy, pepper, garlic, and mustard.

Related articles:
6 gluten-free lunch ideas for work
4 more gluten-free lunch ideas
Eating gluten-free, allergen-free at fast food chains

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  1. Thanks for the list, although I am a Canadian cfgf person I shop in the US because I love Trader Joes who is not on your list. As well here is a Canadian producer that has an excellent product, I have seen their products in the US

  2. Irene Horvath beat me to it.

    I was just going to comment on FREYBE. They make the most authentic “Frankfurter” (Wieners to you fellow Americans) outside of Europe.

  3. You are right, Irene — Trader Joe’s Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Smoked Turkey Breast (West Coast) is gluten-free and dairy-free according to the ingredients. I buy this all the time, but it wasn’t listed on their Gluten Free List so I didn’t include it.

    I will have to try Freybe and include it on my list about hot dogs! Thanks Irene and H.Peter!


    GFCF and nitrate/nitrite free, too. 🙂

  5. does anyone know of any vegetarian alternatives?

  6. I was wondering what kind of american cheese is gluten free

  7. Where can I find a book on gluten free/diabetic receipts

  8. I am very disturbed by your web site. The list that you give may be OK for people who are mildly lactose intolerant, but those of us who are actually allergic to the enzymes and other components in milk can get very ill from the items on your list. I purchased Columbus brand pastrami and roast beef from our local Trader Joe’s because of your listing and their packaging. My daughter was sick by the end of the week.
    If they don’t put the milk in when they process it, they certainly do contaminate the meat some other way. The only meat I have had any success with is Applegate Farms brand. We have never gotten sick from any of their meats. Please be aware that what you are publishing may not be accurate.

  9. Audrey,
    I recommend that if your daughter is that sensitive, you should always call every company and discuss their manufacturing practices and the possibility of cross contamination. I simply wrote what was stated to me in an email from the company. Before you assume that their meat is contaminated, I would suggest that you call first. Perhaps your daughter is sensitive to something else in that brand of meat, like nitrates.

  10. Thanks for sharing this list. I hope I can find the GF brands listed on your site. I made the mistake last week of buying oven roasted turkey at my deli it was not GF and boy did I pay… This site is so informative. Thank you for your research 🙂

  11. When you say Boar’s Head is dairy-free, does that mean the lactic acid starter used in their hard sausage (i.e. pepperoni)is derived from plant rather than dairy? I am highly allergic to the dairy enzymes, but everytime I remember to call the company they are already closed.

    If you know, would you please let me know. Thanks for the info!

  12. There are many meat companies that use a non-dairy lactic acid starter. But if you are that allergic, I would call and double check!

  13. Thank you for doing research and sharing the info!

  14. Beware, Black Bear Turkey DOES contain milk. But their smoked turkey does not, supposedly.

  15. Oh, and BTW – if you didn’t know, if you or your baby has a cows milk protein/dairy allergy: You must also stay away from Soy products. SO – Almond milk is a NO-NO, it contains soy.
    – Rice milk is OK though 😉 I like the taste of the rice milk better anyhow. My Dr DID say however that if a food (and ALL food as I have noticed does have) has a trace of soy, lecithin, or oil – as in it is the last ingredient or close or just may contain – it is OK to eat! Good to know because ALL breads have a soy product and so do MOST foods. – Freihoffers 100% whole wheat with Honey is Parve (Non dairy Kosher) and tasty. Most anything Parve or Pareve is GOOD for you to eat, it is non-dairy =)
    – Most tortillas/wheat wraps are OK.
    Some bagel shops bagels are dairy/soy free too! Yay.
    – Earth Balance makes a non-dairy/soy free spread too (nothing like butter, but it does the trick!).
    – Rice Cakes are OK 😉
    – Fresh Peanut Butter is soy free.
    – Campbells classic Tomato soup is OK (chicken is not, contains milk I think).
    – Any fresh fruit or veggie 😉

  16. My daughter has celiac disease and while I was ordering Boar’s Head lunch meat at a Kroger’s deli, the employee told me how a man came back and yelled because he became sick after eating exactly what I was buying. She said they can’t afford to dedicate a slicing machine for just gluten free meat, so cross contamination occurs. I cancelled my order, what’s the point of taking such a risk. I don’t think the Boar’s Head company would be happy to know that many people won’t buy their product because the grocery stores don’t do their part.

  17. The post that says you MUST stay away from soy if you (or in my case my daughter) are allergic to dairy is not accurate. It IS true that to have an allergy to soy in conjunction with dairy allergy is very common, but not everyone has that combination. My daughter is very allergic to wheat and to dairy, but soy doesn’t bother her in the slightest.

  18. Elle, it is not true that Almond milk contains soy. For example, Silk Almond Milk is soy-free, I checked the FAQs on their website.

    Also, to clarify, about half of babies who are allergic to cow’s milk protein are also allergic to soy. Therefore, it is not definite that you have to also stay away from soy, but if your baby still doesn’t seem to get better even after cutting out milk, you may want to also try cutting out soy. Or, it could be something else! My breastfed daughter seemed to also have a bad reaction one day after I had almond milk and a lot of almond butter (hence I stopped drinking almond milk and eating nuts in general), as well as after I had shellfish.

  19. All of Meijer’s deli meats are gluten free and they are less expensive then the other brands. All of the Meijer meats are excellent quality.

  20. it is necessary to make an update of all this information and probably try to add new one (new brands and so on).

    I specifically interested in products without lactose.

  21. My shoprite uses only clean slicers to cut my Gluten free black bear meats, The manager keeps two clean slicers just to avoid contamination, isnt that a great store….

  22. Thanks for your post on different foods, I appreciate any advise I can get. After I find a list like the one you provide, I use that as a starting point. I don’t rely on it 100%. What doesn’t effect your may effect me. We are all different even when we share the same allergies. I was reading some of the comments. As far as the remark about some foods on the list containing milk products and her daughter getting sick, Shame on you Mom. If you child is that allergic to things, you should know to be more careful. We all have to take responsibility for ourselves and our children. If you’re worried that the meat slicer may contaminate your food, buy the whole ham or turkey, slice it at home and freeze!!! It’s not the grocery stores responsibility.

  23. Does anyone know if the Castle Wood Reserve prepackaged deli meats at Sam’s Club are GFDF? It appears they are gluten free, but I’m not clear on dairy.

  24. If you have a Giant good stores near you, almost all of their store band lunch meats are gluten free.

  25. You folks may want to keep in mind. Even with extreme allergies it sometimes can take a few days for a reaction to set in so it’s easy to confuse a delayed reaction with a instant reaction. Also most roasted seeds and nuts have dairy. Try roasting your own meats and buy a 100 dollar slicer and bag and freeze you own sandwich meats.

  26. I noticed recently that Black Bear and other brands of Chicken and Turkey Lunch meats are putting MILK in them. My question is WHY? I can’t have gluten, or dairy or Soy. Why add things that don’t need to be there! I’ve switched to Health One. It has chicken in the chicken lunch meat. No milk. No problem.