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Food Handling General Discussion General and open discussion for food handling and safety.

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Old 06-30-2010, 10:47 PM   #1
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Default What is "Gluten-free meat"?

I recently transferred into the deli department in the store I work at and was asked by a guest the other day if our deli trays could be ordered with "gluten-free" meat. This took be aback, since I believed gluten to be associated with grains, not meats. Since I wasn't sure about our meats and was the only one around at the time, I said that I would ask about it.

The only answer I received was to say that for meat to be considered "gluten-free" that it must be processed in a processing plant that does not use any gluten-ladened products or processes.

While this seems to makes sense to me, I am a bit curious if anyone else out there has heard of "gluten-free" meat? If so, what defines the term "gluten-free meat"?

Inquiring minds want to know!
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:54 PM   #2
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I Goggled gluten free meat, here is the first site.
Very interesting for sure.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:29 PM   #3
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Yes, it makes sense to me, all meat starts off gluten free. However, in processing or handling it can come in contact with products or materials that contain gluten. For a Celiac, this can be a serious health issue, for the rest of the gluten-chondriacs, it is another thing to worry about.

Many chemicals that are used to process meats can contain gluten in small amounts, many artificial flavorings use ingredients that can contain gluten. For the most seriously affected, it can be something so minute that causes them to have issues, even a little soy sauce or meat flavoring can cause them issues.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:19 AM   #4
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I have a daughter that has Celiac Disease. She can have adverse reactions by even mixing bisquit dough without gloves. I never paid much attention to "Gluten Free" until my daughter was diagnosed.

I have had a catering customer ask me if the meat was "Gluten Free" I had cooked tri-tip and chicken ---he was concerned that the chicken was breaded. Most BBQ sauces contain gluten due to thickening agents. It is a good idea to read labels. He ate the meat and was happy.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:09 AM   #5
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My wife has Celiac Sprue also. It is not an allergy and it isn't the same as gluten sensitivity. Celiac Sprue is an autoimmune disorder where gluten from wheat, barley, rye and, some say, oats causes the cilia in the small intestine to flatten out and lose the ability to absorb nutrients.

The latest studies indicate that as many as 1 in 133 Americans have the disease and many of them don't even know it. Doctors have caught on and now they usually check for CS when there are complaints about abdominal pain, digestive problems or unexplained weight loss.

The problem with food for a CS patient in this country is that wheat is every where and in almost anything. Soy sauce, rice pilaf, malt, barley malt, "modified food starch" ingredients are sometimes made from wheat, hair care products, lip balm, makeup, lickable stamps, latex gloves sometimes are dusted with wheat or oat flour, medications can have gluten in them, corn and rice cereals, and wheat based products are sometimes used as stabilizers in spices.

You also have the cross contamination problems. Bread toasters, oil that is used to cook french fries is also used to cook onion rings, double dipping a knife in the peanut butter or mayonnaise after putting on wheat bread can leave gluten in the otherwise gluten free food. Also, corn flour is often ground on the same machines as wheat flour.

Then you have the ever changing recipes. You have to stay on top of ingredient lists of processed foods because the manufacturers often change the recipes. One day the product is gluten free, the next it has gluten in it.

The worse is the hidden gluten. For example, hydrogenated vegetable protein, hydrolyzed plant protein, monosodium glutamate if made outside the USA probably has gluten in it. How do you know when you read the ingredients on the package?

For you folks who run restaurants or catering businesses, I can tell you that people with CS greatly appreciate your efforts when you accommodate their needs. My wife was diagnosed many years ago. There were few gluten free products like bread, pasta, etc. that she could eat. In the last couple of years some pretty good gluten free "bread" products have come on the market. The first time she had pizza with a decent gluten free pizza crust after many years of no pizza, she got tears in her eyes. Bread is an emotional food, I guess.

The problem with meat comes up when it's processed. Many times wheat, barley, or oat fillers are often added. "Nathan's" hotdogs claim to be all beef but if you read the ingredients you find that they have wheat in them. A few years ago, we would have to drive all over town looking for a Thanksgiving turkey that wasn't brined in a solution that had wheat in it. Now days, many turkeys have "gluten free" stamped right on the package.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:06 PM   #6
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I AM celiac, I make sure my meat is just meat, no seasoning, no nothing. I make my own gluten free injections and rubs.
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chuckwagonbbqco View Post
I have a daughter that has Celiac Disease. She can have adverse reactions by even mixing bisquit dough without gloves. I never paid much attention to "Gluten Free" until my daughter was diagnosed.

I have had a catering customer ask me if the meat was "Gluten Free" I had cooked tri-tip and chicken ---he was concerned that the chicken was breaded. Most BBQ sauces contain gluten due to thickening agents. It is a good idea to read labels. He ate the meat and was happy.
I have two family members with it (wife and daughter) just recently diagnosed. It's a real challenge to find gluten free food sometimes.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #8

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I got completely burned on a package of "all-beef hot dogs" that contained fillers. Advertising "all-beef" and containing wheat products, which this one did, should be a crime.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
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I just watched an episode of "24 hour Restaurant Challenge" (I think that's the name). The title of the episode was, "Best Friends" - and one team - two friends from Dallas opened a restaurant that was gluten free" - I learned more in that show than I from a lot of other places. Food Network...maybe they will re-run it.

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