Is Boar’s Head gluten free?

Quick Answer

Most Boar’s Head meats are gluten free, but some contain gluten or are processed in facilities that also process wheat. Boar’s Head clearly labels gluten-free products and provides detailed ingredient lists to help consumers identify gluten. When in doubt, check the packaging or contact Boar’s Head to verify gluten status.

What is Boar’s Head?

Boar’s Head is a premium delicatessen brand that produces and distributes a variety of meats, cheeses, condiments, and prepared foods. Founded in 1905 in Brooklyn, New York, Boar’s Head has grown into one of the largest deli brands in the United States.

Some of Boar’s Head’s most popular products include:

  • Deli meats like ham, turkey, roast beef, salami, etc.
  • Sliced cheeses like Swiss, cheddar, provolone, etc.
  • Prepared foods like chicken salad, hummus, antipasto, etc.
  • Condiments like mustard, mayonnaise, hoagie spread, etc.

In addition to retail and convenience stores, Boar’s Head products are widely used in delicatessens, cafeterias, restaurants, and food service operations. The company distributes products throughout the United States and overseas.

Why gluten free matters

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. For most people, consuming gluten is not an issue. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten causes serious health problems and must be avoided completely.

Symptoms of celiac disease and gluten intolerance include:

  • Bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea
  • Fatigue and joint pain
  • Headaches and “brain fog”
  • Skin rash and inflammation
  • Anemia and nutrient deficiencies

The only treatment for gluten-related disorders is adhering to a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. This means reading labels carefully and avoiding any products that contain gluten. For those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, identifying safe, gluten-free options is crucial.

Are Boar’s Head meats gluten free?

Many Boar’s Head meats are naturally gluten free. Meats like beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc. do not naturally contain gluten. However, there are a few important considerations when evaluating Boar’s Head products:

1. Gluten-containing ingredients

Some Boar’s Head meats contain small amounts of ingredients that have gluten. For example:

  • Chicken/turkey breast containing additives like wheat starch
  • Sausages containing wheat-based fillers
  • Corned beef with cereal additives (barley, rye)
  • Meatloaf or stuffed chickens with breadcrumbs or fillers

Boar’s Head clearly lists all ingredients on product packaging. Checking the ingredient list is the best way to identify products with gluten-containing additives.

2. Risk of cross-contamination

Even meats without gluten ingredients can get contaminated with gluten during processing. This cross-contamination risk depends on factors like:

  • Whether gluten-containing products are processed on shared equipment
  • How thoroughly equipment is cleaned between runs
  • If processing facilities also handle wheat/rye/barley

For this reason, products made in dedicated gluten-free facilities have the lowest risk.

3. Use of gluten-containing brines/marinades

Some Boar’s Head meats are marinated or cured in solutions that may contain gluten. For example, corned beef brisket is brined in a salt solution that sometimes includes rye or barley.

Again, reading ingredient lists carefully and understanding processing practices is important to identify potential sources of gluten.

How Boar’s Head labeling helps

Fortunately, Boar’s Head provides helpful labeling to assist consumers in finding gluten-free options:

Gluten Free Label

Boar’s Head voluntarily labels some products as “Gluten Free.” This label means the item contains less than 20 parts per million gluten. Products with this label are considered safe for celiacs when consumed in regular portions.

Allergen & Nutritional Information

The Boar’s Head website provides allergen and nutritional data for all products. Consumers can search for products that do not list wheat, rye, or barley in the allergen statement.

No Gluten-Containing Ingredients

Some products state “No Gluten-Containing Ingredients.” This means the item does not contain wheat, rye, barley, or derived ingredients based on the recipe. However, gluten cross-contamination risks still exist.

“Processed in a Facility…” statement

Boar’s Head labels products processed in facilities that also handle wheat, rye, and/or barley. This helps consumers understand potential cross-contamination risks.

By combining label statements with a careful review of ingredients, most people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can identify safe options. When in doubt, Boar’s Head customer service can provide additional guidance.

What Boar’s Head products are gluten free?

Below are some examples of Boar’s Head products that are reliably gluten-free based on ingredients and labeling:

Gluten-Free Labeled Products

  • Ovengold Turkey Breast
  • Smoked Ham
  • Genoa Salami
  • Roasted Chicken Breast
  • BBQ Seasoned Chicken Breast

These products have the clear “Gluten Free” label, meaning they test at less than 20 ppm gluten.

Products with No Gluten-Containing Ingredients

  • EverRoast Oven Roasted Chicken Breast
  • Virginia Brand Ham
  • Deluxe Rotisserie Breast of Turkey
  • Honey Maple Glazed Turkey Breast

These products do not list any gluten grains or derived ingredients. However, check labels for processing facility information.

Typically Gluten-Free Varieties

  • Smoked & cured meats like ham, turkey, beef, pastrami, corned beef, bacon
  • Sliced roasts like top round, turkey breast, chicken breast
  • Sausages like kielbasa, bratwurst, chorizo, italian, andouille (check labels)

Stick to whole muscle meats without sauces, breading, or questionable ingredients. Call or email Boar’s Head for brand/variety specifics.

What Boar’s Head products contain gluten?

While many Boar’s Head items are gluten-free, these types of products have a higher likelihood of containing gluten based on ingredients or processing:

  • Breaded or stuffed chicken products
  • Flavored deli meats with seasonings that may contain gluten
  • Sausages and hot dogs with questionable fillers
  • Meatloaf, pate, mousses with binders and wheat starch
  • Beef with soy sauce or other gluten-containing marinades
  • Prepared salads with croutons, pasta, or dressings that contain gluten
  • Gravies and sauces thickened with wheat flour

As always, thoroughly read labels and ingredients. If unsure, contact Boar’s Head.

What about other Boar’s Head products like cheese, condiments, etc.?

Beyond deli meats, Boar’s Head also produces a variety of cheeses, hummus, barbecue sauce, chips, and other products. Like the meats, some of these products are labeled “gluten free” while others are not.

General guidelines for some Boar’s Head items:

  • Cheese – Most natural cheeses are gluten free. However, some shredded cheeses may contain anti-caking agents with gluten. Check ingredient lists.
  • Hummus – Boar’s Head Hummus is labeled gluten free.
  • Chips – Boar’s Head tortilla chips are gluten free. Multigrain and pita chips likely contain gluten.
  • Dressings – Boar’s Head Honey Mustard dressing is gluten free. Other dressings may contain gluten – check labels.
  • Sauces – Barbecue sauces and gravies often contain gluten. Verify by contacting Boar’s Head.

Do not assume products besides deli meats are automatically safe. Be diligent in reading labels and ingredient statements, and when in doubt, reach out to Boar’s Head.

How to contact Boar’s Head about gluten

If you have any uncertainties about whether a Boar’s Head product contains gluten, use the following ways to contact them:

  • Call 1-800-222-3188 to speak with a Consumer Affairs representative.
  • Email via the Contact Us form at
  • Use the live chat function at (during business hours).
  • Submit your question on social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Describe the exact product name and variety, then inquire about the presence of gluten based on ingredients, labeling, processing practices, and testing.

Boar’s Head has responsive customer service representatives available to help identify gluten-free status. Keep the product packaging on hand with ingredient lists and labels ready.

Precautions when eating Boar’s Head gluten free products

When purchasing Boar’s Head items labeled gluten-free, take these added precautions:

  • Verify product codes match gluten-free labels (manufacturing mix-ups can occur)
  • Check for damage to packaging that may allow cross-contamination
  • Wash hands, surfaces, utensils before preparing gluten-free products
  • Use a separate meat slicer or thoroughly clean slicer before use
  • Keep gluten-free items sealed until ready to serve to prevent contact transfer

Practice diligent label reading, frequent hand washing, and separation of gluten-free foods during shopping, storage, and meal prep.

Those with celiac disease should watch for any symptoms of gluten exposure when trying new products. When eating away from home, verify how deli meats are handled and sliced to avoid cross-contact.

Gluten-free diet tips when eating Boar’s Head

Here are some helpful tips for maintaining a gluten-free diet when eating Boar’s Head products:

  • Find 3-5 Boar’s Head gluten-free meats you enjoy for easy go-to options
  • Build sandwiches with certified gluten-free bread or rolls
  • Use lettuce leaves or corn tortillas as bread alternatives
  • Try Boar’s Head meats in salads, lettuce wraps, omelets, pizza, etc.
  • Pair cold cuts with cheese slices, pickles, veggies, condiments, etc.
  • Incorporate gluten-free hummus, guacamole, nut butters for extra flavor
  • Choose Boar’s Head gluten-free roasted chicken for meals, salads, wraps, etc.
  • Stick to whole muscle meats and avoid sausages with questionable fillers

With an array of clearly labeled gluten-free options, Boar’s Head makes it easier to maintain variety in your gluten-free lifestyle. Combine deli meats with fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, and other naturally gluten-free foods for well-balanced meals and snacks. Always verify the gluten-free status when trying any new products.


Boar’s Head offers many high-quality gluten-free meat products, backed by careful ingredient labeling and thorough customer service. Consumers with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can feel confident in Boar’s Head items expressly labeled “gluten free” as these products are tested to verify absence of gluten.

Many other Boar’s Head meats are also low risk when avoiding gluten grain ingredients and fillers. Follow label statements like “no gluten-containing ingredients” and check processing facility information to further understand potential for cross-contamination. Reach out to Boar’s Head customer service with any product questions.

By combining diligent label reading with knowledge of Boar’s Head’s gluten-free offerings, those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance can safely enjoy Boar’s Head premium deli meats as part of a diverse gluten-free diet.

Leave a Comment