Are Ore-Ida crispy french fries gluten free?

Gluten free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people avoiding gluten for medical reasons or by personal choice. For those following a gluten free diet, checking labels and understanding ingredients is extremely important to ensure you are not consuming any gluten. This includes being aware of potential gluten sources in foods that may otherwise be assumed to be naturally gluten free, like french fries.

Ore-Ida is one of the largest producers of frozen potato products in the United States, including french fries, tater tots, and hash browns. Their crispy french fries are a popular product found in many grocery store freezer sections across the country. But an important question for those following a gluten free diet is – are Ore-Ida crispy french fries gluten free?

Are Potatoes Naturally Gluten Free?

Potatoes themselves are a naturally gluten free food. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, while potatoes are tuberous root vegetables. So potatoes do not inherently contain any gluten.

However, processed potato products are at risk for gluten cross-contamination during growing, harvesting, processing, or cooking. Potential sources of gluten cross-contact include:

  • Use of equipment that processes wheat-based foods
  • Dust containing gluten blown from nearby fields
  • Thickening or stabilizing agents made from gluten-containing grains
  • Cooking oils shared with breaded or battered products
  • Flavorings or seasonings containing glutenous ingredients

So while potatoes themselves do not contain gluten, processed potato products like french fries may pick up traces of gluten during production. Companies need to take steps to avoid cross-contamination and actively test for the presence of gluten during manufacturing.

Ore-Ida’s Statements on Gluten

On Ore-Ida’s website, they provide the following statements regarding gluten in their products:

Ore-Ida has been cooking potatoes for over 50 years and in that time we have learned a thing or two about gluten. For starters, potatoes themselves are naturally gluten-free. The ingredients we use for our Traditional and our Golden products are also gluten-free. However, because our products are prepared in facilities that also handle wheat, barley and rye products we cannot label any Ore-Ida product gluten-free.

Additionally, on Ore-Ida’s FAQ page they state:

Ore-Ida frozen potato products use gluten-free ingredients. However, our products are prepared in shared facilities and on shared equipment with other products that contain gluten. We follow rigorous quality and sanitation procedures, but cross-contamination is always a possibility in a shared environment. For this reason, we cannot label our products gluten-free.

So Ore-Ida openly admits that while the ingredients themselves are gluten-free, cross-contamination is possible during manufacturing in shared facilities. They take precautions to reduce the risk, but cannot guarantee a gluten free status.

Third Party Gluten Test Results

Several third party gluten testing labs have included Ore-Ida crispy french fries in product testing over the years. Here are some of the published results:

Gluten Free Watchdog

Gluten Free Watchdog is an independent company focused on gluten-free food testing and certification. In 2016 they tested 38 samples of Ore-Ida crinkle cut fries purchased from grocery stores across the U.S.

36 out of the 38 samples tested below 5 ppm of gluten (their limit for labeling something gluten-free). The two samples that tested over 5 ppm measured 5.5 ppm and 6 ppm.

Based on these results, Gluten Free Watchdog stated that Ore-Ida fries test below 20 ppm the majority of the time and are fine for most people following a gluten-free diet. But they cannot be labeled “gluten-free” and are risky for those with celiac disease or extreme gluten sensitivity.


In 2020, ConsumerLab purchased and tested 4 samples of Ore-Ida crispy crowns (a style of their fries) from retailers in NY and PA. Gluten levels were measured using the R5 Competitive ELISA gluten assay.

All four samples tested below 5 ppm of gluten, with results ranging from <3 ppm to 4.7 ppm. ConsumerLab concluded that Ore-Ida fries contain very low levels of gluten and are suitable for people with celiac disease or NCGS when consumed occasionally.

GlutenTox Home Test Kits

GlutenTox sells gluten home test kits that consumers can use to screen foods themselves for the presence of gluten. Their database contains several consumer-submitted results over the years for Ore-Ida fries.

Out of 45 test kit results, the average gluten level detected was 4.2 ppm. Around 82% of results came back under 5 ppm and 18% showed over 5 ppm. The highest result reported was 11 ppm.

So the majority of home test kit results show Ore-Ida fries contain very low gluten levels, with occasional variability leading to some higher results.

Can Celiacs Safely Eat Ore-Ida Fries?

People with celiac disease need to follow a strict gluten-free diet, as even small exposures to gluten can trigger damage to the small intestine for those with celiac.

Many experts consider foods that consistently test below 20 ppm of gluten to be safe for most celiacs when consumed in moderation. The research on Ore-Ida crispy french fries generally shows results below 5 ppm, with occasional variability leading to results up to 11 ppm.

This means Ore-Ida fries are likely safe for most celiacs if consumed in limited quantities occasionally. But they may not be suitable for extremely sensitive individuals. Those with celiac should use their own judgment based on their tolerance levels. Consuming large servings on a regular basis is not recommended.

The Celiac Disease Foundation states the following about Ore-Ida fries:

Ore-Ida French fries contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. Individuals with celiac disease should exercise caution consuming this product.

So they consider Ore-Ida fries in the “caution” category versus being clearly safe or unsafe. Overall it seems Ore-Ida fries can be part of an occasional gluten-free treat for those with celiac disease, but should not be a regular part of the diet.

Are Ore-Ida Fries Safe for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?

For those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), it is less clear what level of gluten may be tolerated. Some research shows NCGS patients reacting to gluten exposures as low as 10-50 mg per day.

Based on this data, Ore-Ida fries would likely be safe for most with NCGS when consumed occasionally in single serving sizes. But those with high sensitivity may still react, especially if eating larger servings. Paying attention to personal tolerance levels is important.

Very sensitive NCGS patients may want to avoid Ore-Ida fries, or limit to small servings rarely. Those with less severe sensitivities can likely enjoy Ore-Ida fries in moderation without issue.

Tips for Safely Enjoying Ore-Ida Fries on a Gluten-Free Diet

Here are some tips for safely eating Ore-Ida crispy french fries if you are gluten-free:

  • Check labels each time for any formula changes or new ingredient information
  • Consume Ore-Ida fries only occasionally, not regularly
  • Stick to reasonable single serving sizes, avoid large portions
  • Make Ore-Ida fries a side dish, not the main part of your meal
  • Look for package codes processed on dedicated gluten-free lines if highly sensitive
  • Rinse fries briefly before cooking to remove any residual surface gluten
  • Use fresh cooking oil, don’t reuse oil that cooked breaded products
  • Avoid cross-contact by preparing fries away from other glutenous foods

Following these simple precautions allows most gluten-free consumers to safely enjoy Ore-Ida crispy french fries occasionally without concern.


Ore-Ida crispy french fries are made with gluten-free ingredients, but the risk of cross-contamination during manufacturing means they cannot be labeled gluten-free.

Third party testing shows Ore-Ida fries consistently contain less than 10 ppm of gluten, with most results under 5 ppm. This indicates they are safe for most people with celiac disease or NCGS in limited quantities occasionally.

Extremely gluten-sensitive individuals may still react and wish to avoid Ore-Ida fries. Those with less sensitivity can safely enjoy them as an occasional gluten-free treat when following basic precautions.

Overall the low levels of gluten detected in Ore-Ida fries means they can be part of a gluten-free diet in moderation for most individuals when care is taken to avoid cross-contact and overexposure. Proper judgment based on personal tolerance levels is important for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Leave a Comment