Various types of meat.
There is no gluten present in meats that have been butchered and packaged but not processed in any way. There may be gluten in meat or meat products that have been processed. This includes snacks, sausages, hamburgers, and anything packed in a sauce. This is because wheat flour and grains are often used as fillers or binders in packaged products. For many snacks, there is also the potential for cross-contamination with other meat products and equipment that contain small amounts of gluten.
Hot dogs, which often contain gluten.
The proteins that make up gluten are not naturally present in the meat of animals, because they are mainly of plant origin. This means that there is no gluten in meat that has not been processed. The only exception to this would be meat that has been contaminated by equipment or surfaces that are also used for products that contain gluten, but it is extremely rare for gluten to be transmitted in this way.
A butcher can prepare gluten-free sausages at the customer’s request.
Some people with celiac disease worry about eating meat from animals fed grains that contain gluten. The idea is that some of the gluten proteins can reach the animal’s muscle tissue. Scientifically, gluten is broken down by the body and turned into amino acids that are used to build muscle, so gluten has no way of getting into meat. While there is no scientific evidence that gluten appears in the meat of grain-fed animals, some with celiac disease still report feeling unwell after eating it.
Any type of meat that has been packaged, except plain fillets, needs to be checked for additional ingredients. Gluten-containing elements may not have any obvious names and include hydrolyzed vegetable protein, vegetable protein, malt, and vegetable gum. If a piece of meat appears to have been processed or marinated and there is no ingredient list, the only two options are to ask the butcher what it contains, or to avoid the meat altogether.
There may also be gluten in meat that is part of a mixture or that has been ground and frozen. This includes products such as pre-made hamburgers, frozen packaged ground meats, hot dogs and pre-seasoned mixes. They all have the potential to contain gluten and should be assumed to contain them unless the packaging is marked otherwise.
Pure meat that has been cut and packaged will not contain gluten as long as there is no cross-contamination, although all types of meat that have been somehow prepared or processed need to be viewed with suspicion. People who are gluten intolerant need to be careful with all meats that are packaged and avoid them if a proper list of ingredients cannot be found. There are few laws regulating the list of gluten in foods, so it’s probably better to be overly cautious than to get sick from gluten in meat.