Yes, it’s everywhere… For those of us who need to keep our bodies free from gluten, we have to check on everything we eat. This was one of the first ways I contaminated myself when I was first clearing gluten out of my diet. Things like lunch meat, sausages, and imitation crab or seafood all need to be checked before consumption.
Some lunch meat contains fillers, which usually contain gluten of some form. I first became aware of this when I was at my local deli counter. They normally carry Kretschmer lunch meats. One day there were new sticker banners on the deli case advertising Kretschmar Meats– gluten free, no msg added… Good news, I had been buying gf lunch meat all along! But there’s always a contamination possibility in the deli (read this piece at Gluten Free RN for how to handle that it). It is always best to check labels on anything. Many lunch meat products are, and always have been, gluten free. They are just now labeling their product as such because they realize the value in it.
Sausages are another hidden gluten meat product. Again, many have fillers containing gluten. Labeling has gotten much better in recent years. So many companies have caught on to people wanting to know if their food is gf. It is much easier to weed through what I might eat and what I can not eat, than it was even a few years ago. When you’re talking about hot dogs, our family prefers Nathan’s, but we also like the Millers and the Colemans that they sometimes have at our local Costco. Breakfast sausage and italian, kielbasa, or bratwurst type sausages definitely require a label read before consuption. Often times, the same brand can differ from flavor to flavor, so be careful!
And finally, imitation crab or seafood. My husband loves seafood salad from the store. I used to enjoy some once in a while with him. We were watching a fishing show on tv one night and it went into a piece about imitation crab that got me to doing a little research. It is now definitely something I steer clear of now. Whether it is seafood salad, sushi, or frozen fish products, I always check the ingredients. I try to only eat fresh fish. I generally try to just eat sushi that I make at home. Although, I do love Mermaid Sushi at the North Coast Co-Op in Eureka. I was spoke to owner about the gluten in her products and she was very excited to tell that it was mostly gf and she always has gf soy sauce to use! She uses all gf soy sauce in her sauces and such. It’s really good. It was worth asking about for sure!
As with everything else we consume, the lesson is always read the label! I can’t stress it enough. I have fallen down on the job and accidentally contaminated myself more than once. Meat is no exception. There is plenty of food out there for us gf’ers, we just have to be more picky. But hey, I always was a picky eater, so no big deal! I’m better off.