Is McCormick spices gluten-free?

Many people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity wonder if popular spice brands like McCormick contain gluten. For those who need to follow a strict gluten-free diet, it’s important to know which spices are safe to consume.

Quick Answer

The quick answer is yes, McCormick spices are considered gluten-free. McCormick states that all of their spices, seasonings, and extracts do not contain gluten. However, some McCormick spice blends do contain wheat, barley, or rye and are not gluten-free.

About Celiac Disease and Gluten

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Even small amounts of gluten can trigger symptoms and damage in those with celiac disease. About 1% of the population has celiac disease.

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It’s found in many common foods like bread, pasta, baked goods, cereals, beer, etc. A gluten-free diet, which avoids all gluten-containing grains and products, is currently the only treatment for celiac disease.

Gluten-Free Diet Basics

When following a gluten-free diet, grains like wheat, barley, and rye must be avoided, as well as any foods or products that contain these grains. Oats are sometimes contaminated with gluten during processing and are also avoided.

Acceptable grains on a gluten-free diet include rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet. Pure and uncontaminated spices and herbs are also allowable.

It’s important for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity to be very cautious about packaged and processed foods labeled as “gluten-free.” Due to labelling regulations, foods with the gluten-free label may still contain trace amounts of gluten.

Are McCormick Spices Gluten-Free?

When reviewing McCormick’s frequently asked questions, they clearly state that all McCormick spices, herbs, and extracts are gluten-free. So if you are purchasing a single, pure McCormick spice like cinnamon, thyme, basil, oregano, etc. then it is naturally gluten-free.

However, McCormick’s blends and recipe mixes may contain barley, wheat, or malt. These products would contain gluten and are not labelled gluten-free. Examples include McCormick’s taco seasoning, brown gravy mix, cake mixes, and breading mixes.

McCormick Spice Blends to Avoid on a Gluten-Free Diet

  • Taco Seasoning Mix
  • Brown Gravy Mix
  • Cake Mixes
  • Bread or Batter Mixes
  • Any Seasoning Mix Containing: Wheat, Barley, Rye, Malt, Oats

If you need a substitute for one of these spice blends, you can try making your own gluten-free version at home. There are many recipes online for gluten-free replacements of popular spice blends.

How McCormick Prevents Gluten Cross-Contamination

McCormick takes steps to prevent cross-contamination of their gluten-free spices and herbs with gluten-containing ingredients:

  • Gluten-free spices are produced on dedicated equipment separate from gluten-containing products.
  • Two separate facilities are used for blending spices – one handles only gluten-free ingredients.
  • Spice facilities follow thorough cleaning protocols.
  • Packaging material is stored separately.
  • Comprehensive product testing is conducted.

However, McCormick includes an advisory statement for customers with celiac disease:

McCormick is unable to guarantee that any products are free of trace amounts of gluten because of the wide variety of sources involved in growing and processing spices.

This is why they don’t label their pure spices as certified gluten-free. But based on their manufacturing practices, the risk of gluten cross-contamination seems low.

What About Organic and Gourmet McCormick Spices?

McCormick’s Organic and Gourmet lines of spices follow the same strict guidelines when it comes to potential gluten contamination. If you are purchasing a single, pure spice it should be gluten-free.

However, read the labels carefully, as some Organic and Gourmet spice blends may contain gluten grains. For example, McCormick Gourmet Italian Breadcrumb Mix is not gluten-free.

McCormick Spice Blends Labeled “Gluten-Free”

In recent years, McCormick has begun producing and labelling some spice blends as gluten-free. These include:

  • Perfect Pinch Original All Purpose Seasoning Gluten Free
  • Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning Gluten Free
  • Perfect Pinch Lemon & Pepper Seasoning Gluten Free
  • Perfect Pinch Southwest Sweet & Smoky All Purpose Seasoning Gluten Free

These products are produced in dedicated gluten-free facilities and are tested to contain less than 20ppm of gluten. So they are labelled gluten-free to meet FDA standards. This provides more options of safe, flavored spice blends for those on gluten-free diets.

Are McCormick Spices Safe for Celiac Disease?

For people with celiac disease and those who are extremely gluten sensitive, there is no definitive answer on whether McCormick spices are 100% safe. While McCormick takes cross-contamination seriously, trace gluten exposure is possible.

Small amounts of gluten from shared equipment or manufacturing lines may find its way into certain McCormick spices. The amount of gluten is likely to be minimal, if present at all. But for celiac patients who react strongly to trace gluten, the potential risk exists.

It comes down to your personal sensitivity level. Many celiacs use McCormick spices frequently without issue. Those with more severe cases may wish to avoid McCormick altogether or stick to the certified gluten-free labelled blends.

Other Spice Brands Labeled Gluten-Free

For celiacs and gluten-sensitive individuals who want certified gluten-free spices, here are a few reputable brands to look for:

  • Simply Organic
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Spice Hunter
  • Badia Spices
  • Frontier Co-op
  • Rex Brand Extracts

Be sure to check labels though, as some spice blends from these brands may also contain gluten.

The Verdict on McCormick Spices

Based on publicly available information provided by McCormick, as well as consumer experiences, McCormick spices appear to be a fairly safe option for individuals trying to avoid gluten. Their pure spices and seasonings do not contain wheat, barley, rye or oats.

However, some McCormick spice blends do contain gluten, so these should be avoided. Always read ingredient labels thoroughly. Also, those with celiac disease or high sensitivity should use caution, due to the possibility of trace amounts of cross-contamination during manufacturing.

The best approach is to contact McCormick directly with any questions or concerns about specific products and their gluten-free status. Their customer service team can provide guidance for your individual dietary needs and restrictions.


  • McCormick spices and extracts do not contain gluten as ingredients.
  • Certain McCormick blends contain wheat, barley, or rye and are not gluten-free.
  • McCormick takes precautions to avoid cross-contamination with gluten.
  • A minimal risk of trace gluten exists in their products.
  • Labeled “gluten-free” blends from McCormick are a safer choice.
  • Those with celiac disease may prefer certified gluten-free brands.


When shopping for spices, McCormick products that are pure and free from gluten-containing grains are generally considered safe for gluten-free diets. However, individuals with celiac disease or extreme gluten sensitivity may want to exercise more caution and opt for spices and seasonings that are certified gluten-free.

By reading labels carefully, understanding manufacturing procedures, contacting companies directly, and knowing your own tolerance levels, most people following a gluten-free diet can safely enjoy McCormick spices.

Leave a Comment