Is all Rao’s gluten-free?

Rao’s is a popular brand of pasta sauces, pizza sauces, and other Italian specialty foods. Many people wonder if all of Rao’s products are gluten-free or if they contain gluten. This is an important question for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity who need to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

Quick Answers

– Not all Rao’s products are gluten-free. Many contain wheat and are not suitable for a gluten-free diet.

– Rao’s does offer some gluten-free pasta sauce options that are certified gluten-free to less than 10 ppm.

– Rao’s gluten-free pasta sauce flavors include Marinara, Arrabbiata, Fra Diavolo, and Alfredo.

– Rao’s gluten-free pasta sauces are packaged in 24 oz jars and are available online and in some grocery stores.

– Other Rao’s products including pizza sauce, soup, and gravy mixes contain gluten. Always check labels carefully.

Does Rao’s Have Any Gluten-Free Options?

Yes, Rao’s does offer some gluten-free pasta sauce options, but not all of their products are gluten-free. They have four pasta sauce varieties that are certified gluten-free to contain less than 10 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

The Rao’s gluten-free pasta sauces include:

– Marinara Sauce
– Arrabbiata Sauce
– Fra Diavolo Sauce
– Alfredo Sauce

These four sauces are specially made in a gluten-free facility and gluten is not added as an ingredient. Rao’s states that their gluten-free pasta sauces contain no wheat, rye, barley, or oats.

The gluten-free pasta sauces are available in 24 oz jars and can be purchased online through Rao’s website or Amazon. They are also carried in some grocery stores, but selections may vary by location.

What Rao’s Products Contain Gluten?

While Rao’s does have some gluten-free options, many of their products do contain gluten:

– Pizza Sauces – Rao’s traditional pizza sauce contains wheat and is not gluten-free. They do not currently offer a gluten-free pizza sauce.

– Soup and Gravy Mixes – Rao’s soup and gravy mixes contain gluten sources like wheat flour or wheat starch.

– Salad Dressings – Rao’s Caesar, balsamic vinaigrette, and Italian salad dressings contain malt vinegar and are not gluten-free.

– Pasta and Sauce Kits – The Rao’s kits with dry pasta and sauce packs contain gluten.

– Roasted Vegetables – Rao’s roasted veggies contain wheat flour and are not gluten-free.

– Bread Crumbs – Rao’s classic style bread crumbs contain wheat flour.

In addition to these products, Rao’s offers some seasoning and rub blends, bottled lemon juices, and other items that may contain hidden gluten sources. Always thoroughly read ingredients lists and packaging.

Key Takeaways on Rao’s Gluten-Free Status

Here are the key takeaways on which Rao’s products are gluten-free and which contain gluten:

– Gluten-Free: Rao’s Marinara, Arrabbiata, Fra Diavolo, and Alfredo pasta sauce (jarred, not packets)

– Not Gluten-Free: Rao’s pizza sauce, soup mixes, salad dressings, pasta & sauce kits, roasted veggies, bread crumbs, seasonings

– Look for “gluten-free” labeling and certification on Rao’s products

– Check all ingredients lists carefully even on Rao’s “gluten-free” items

– Rao’s facility and equipment may process wheat/gluten and cause cross-contact

– If unsure, contact Rao’s for most up to date info on products

So in summary, some Rao’s products are gluten-free while many others contain gluten or risk of cross-contact. Carefully checking labels is important, as ingredients can change over time. When in doubt, choose another brand that is certified gluten-free to reduce the risk of gluten exposure.

Calling Rao’s for More Information

To get the most up to date information directly from the source, consumers with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity may want to reach out to Rao’s customer service.

The Rao’s company website provides a customer service phone number and email for questions about products, ingredients, manufacturing processes, and gluten-free status.

When contacting Rao’s, be prepared with specific product names and UPC codes. You can ask:

– Is this product certified gluten-free?

– What testing is done to ensure gluten levels are under 10 ppm?

– Are the gluten-free products run on the same equipment as gluten products?

– Is there a risk of cross-contact in your facility?

– Have any ingredients changed recently that could affect gluten content?

Rao’s may request lot codes or other details to look up manufacturing records for the products in question. This direct outreach can provide definitive answers about if current formulations are gluten-free or not.

The customer service team is likely the best source for accurate, up-to-date information on the gluten status of all Rao’s products.

Rao’s Gluten-Free Certifications

For consumers that need to strictly avoid gluten, looking for third party certification can provide added assurance that Rao’s products are gluten-free.

Rao’s states that their designated gluten-free pasta sauces are certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). This is an independent program that confirms finished products contain less than 10 ppm of gluten.

The GFCO certification involves:

– Review of the manufacturing facility and process
– Testing of raw ingredients
– Testing of equipment surfaces
– Testing of finished products

GFCO staff performs unannounced audits at least once per year to verify compliance. This rigorous certification provides a layer of independent validation that Rao’s gluten-free labelled pasta sauces are safe for celiac disease and gluten intolerance when produced.

However, those with gluten disorders need to be aware that recipes and ingredients can change without notice. Checking for a current GFCO symbol provides assurance, but cross-contact and formula changes are still possible.

Precautions When Eating Any Rao’s Products

For those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, extra care needs to be taken around all Rao’s products, even those labeled gluten-free. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

– Check for gluten certification symbols and read labels every time, even if purchasing a product you have bought before. Ingredients and production lines can change without notice.

– Understand that equipment and manufacturing lines are shared. Even if a Rao’s product is gluten-free, cross-contact with wheat-containing products may occur.

– Know that sauce packets may have different formulations than jars, even for the same sauce variety. Check each individually.

– Call Rao’s for details if concerned about a product or recipe change. Do not rely on old information.

– If extremely sensitive, consider choosing another brand made at an exclusively gluten-free facility.

– When eating out, do not assume Rao’s sauce is gluten-free, even if menu states it is. The restaurant may use a different version than you expect.

– Notify restaurant staff about your gluten allergy and request they confirm the Rao’s item they use is certified gluten-free.

While Rao’s gluten-free certified sauces provide an option, use caution and thoroughly check every product every time when an allergy is involved. Contact Rao’s or the restaurant for confirmation to make the safest choice. For those highly sensitive, another brand may be the better option.

Rao’s Gluten-Free Pasta Sauce Nutrition Facts

For those that can tolerate Rao’s gluten-free pasta sauces, they can provide a quick and tasty meal base without having to make sauce from scratch. Here is some nutrition information on Rao’s gluten-free marinara sauce:

Rao’s Marinara Gluten-Free Pasta Sauce – 1/2 cup (124g) serving

Calories Fat Sodium Carbs Sugar Protein
80 4.5g 820mg 11g 8g 2g

The Rao’s gluten-free marinara has similar nutrition stats as traditional marinara sauce recipes:

– Relatively low calorie at 80 calories per 1/2 cup serving
– Total fat and saturated fat are low since sauce is tomato-based
– Sodium is quite high at 16% DV. Those restricting sodium may need a smaller portion.
– Total carbs and sugar are moderate. The 11g carbs per serving come mostly from tomato sugars.
– Provides lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidant content from tomato ingredients
– Minimal protein at 2g per serving

Overall, Rao’s certified gluten-free marinara can provide a nutritious pasta sauce option for those with gluten restrictions. As with any pre-made sauce, sodium can be high, so portion sizes may need to be limited by those on low sodium diets.

Cost of Rao’s Gluten-Free Sauce

Rao’s is known for being a premium brand of pasta sauce and their gluten-free options come at a premium price point. Here are some typical costs for Rao’s gluten-free pasta sauce:

– 24 oz jar: $8.99 to $9.99 regular price
– Case of 12 jars: $95.88 ($7.99 per jar)

This equates to about $0.37 to $0.42 per ounce. Compared to store brands or basic marinara sauce that can cost $0.10 per oz or less, Rao’s gluten-free sauce comes at a steep premium.

However, fans of Rao’s say that the flavor and quality is noticeable compared to cheaper brands. The company uses imported San Marzano tomatoes and premium ingredients.

Those on a tight budget can save money by using basic marinara sauce and adding their own Italian herbs and spices. But for those that can afford the splurge, Rao’s gluten-free sauces provide upscale flavor.

The specialty jars do make convenient gifts for gluten-free pasta lovers as well. Though expensive, they allow someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance to enjoy the legendary Rao’s taste.

Rao’s Gluten-Free Sauces – Final Recommendations

In summary, here are some final recommendations on consuming Rao’s brand pasta sauces if you need to be 100% gluten-free:

– Only purchase Rao’s pasta sauces clearly labeled “gluten-free” on packaging

– Ensure they state gluten-free certification (GFCO preferred)

– Check ingredients every time for any formula changes

– Call Rao’s customer service with any questions or concerns

– Understand that gluten cross-contact is still a risk

– If highly sensitive, choose another brand made at a dedicated facility

– Enjoy Rao’s gluten-free marinara, arrabbiata, fra diavolo, and alfredo sauces to add gourmet flavor

– Be aware Rao’s gluten-free sauces come at a premium price point

– Look for sales, coupons, and case discounts to save money

With vigilance about ingredients and certifications, some people who must avoid gluten are able to incorporate Rao’s gluten-free pasta sauces into their diets. However, precautions are needed and those highly sensitive or at risk may want to opt for another brand. When prepared safely, Rao’s gluten-free sauces can provide a delicious option.

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