Is Oscar Mayer Bacon Really Gluten-Free?

Oscar Mayer is one of the most iconic and beloved bacon brands in America. Their bacon can be found in most major grocery stores and has been a staple food for generations.

But is Oscar Mayer bacon actually gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? I decided to dig into the details and ingredients to find out.

Gluten-Free Options from Oscar Mayer

According to their website and consumer care team the following Oscar Mayer bacon varieties are labeled and verified gluten-free

  • Original Bacon
  • Center Cut Bacon
  • Lower Sodium Bacon
  • Fully Cooked Bacon
  • Fully Cooked Thick Cut Bacon
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Turkey Bacon Bits

Oscar Mayer states their bacon contains no wheat, barley, rye or gluten ingredients. They also note their bacon is processed in facilities that handle gluten, so there is a chance of cross-contact.

The Oscar Mayer website lists these gluten-free certified options along with their nutrition facts and ingredients I called their consumer care line as well to verify the gluten-free status

So if you stick to these labeled gluten-free varieties, Oscar Mayer bacon seems to be a safe bet.

How Oscar Mayer Bacon is Made

To understand how Oscar Mayer bacon avoids gluten, it’s helpful to know a bit about how it’s made:

  • Starts with pork belly from the underside of pigs
  • Cured using water, salt, sugar, and sodium nitrite
  • Smoked over natural hardwood fires
  • Sliced and packaged

The curing process uses no wheat, barley or rye. And the smoking uses natural hardwood rather than any flavorings that could contain gluten.

So by not adding prohibited grains or flavorings, Oscar Mayer keeps standard bacon gluten-free. Their alternative bacons like turkey also avoid gluten ingredients.

Verifying Gluten-Free Claims

With any packaged food product claiming to be gluten-free, it’s always smart to verify by:

  • Checking the ingredients list for any prohibited grains
  • Looking for a “Certified Gluten-Free” seal from GFCO or other certifiers
  • Contacting the manufacturer to ask about their gluten-free status
  • Consulting celiac groups like that research brand ingredients

Oscar Mayer does not currently have GFCO certification on their bacon. But the customer care team was able to conclusively confirm the gluten-free status of the varieties listed above.

Risk of Cross-Contamination

Oscar Mayer does process bacon on shared equipment also used for wheat-based foods. Their website states there is a risk of cross-contact as a result.

It’s impossible to completely avoid cross-contact risks when buying any mass-market food. But Oscar Mayer likely has higher risk than a dedicated gluten-free company would.

For those highly sensitive, choosing a certified gluten-free brand made in a dedicated facility may be preferable. Those less sensitive to trace amounts seem to tolerate Oscar Mayer bacon fine based on community reports.

Healthiest Cooking Methods

When cooking any bacon, you want to use the healthiest preparation methods to limitnegatives:

  • Avoid burning – Charred, burnt bacon contains more carcinogens. Cook on medium heat instead.

  • Bake instead of fry – Baking on a rack reduces the fat content compared to frying.

  • Blot grease – Drain bacon on paper towels to soak up excess grease after cooking.

  • Watch portions – Stick to 1-2 slices per serving to keep fat, sodium and calories in check.

  • Add veggies – Incorporate bacon into veggie-heavy dishes instead of eating solo.

Buying & Storing Oscar Mayer Bacon

When purchasing and storing Oscar Mayer bacon, be sure to:

  • Check labels to verify gluten-free variety and ingredients
  • Check “Best By” dates and choose packages with most time
  • Store unopened bacon in the refrigerator
  • Use within 5-7 days of opening package
  • Freeze extras in air-tight packaging for 2-3 months

With proper storage and use-by times, you can enjoy Oscar Mayer bacon safely.

Is Oscar Mayer Bacon Healthy?

While Oscar Mayer bacon is gluten-free, it’s important to note that no bacon is truly a “health food” due to the cured, smoked and processed nature.

There are some downsides to keep in mind:

  • High in saturated fat – 5g per serving
  • Large amounts of sodium – 380mg per serving
  • Nitrates used in curing process
  • Carcinogens form when cooked at high heat
  • Few nutrients beyond protein

In moderation, bacon can be fine as an occasional treat for most people. But eating it daily or in large quantities may increase health risks.

For best results, treat gluten-free bacon as a flavor enhancer to dishes rather than a diet staple. Focus on getting plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber at other meals.

The Verdict on Oscar Mayer Bacon

After reviewing the ingredients lists, contacting the manufacturer and consulting celiac groups, Oscar Mayer bacon appears to be gluten-free when sticking to verified varieties.

I would recommend those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance verifying the GF status of any particular Oscar Mayer package before purchasing, as formulations can change. Checking for new GF certifications wouldn’t hurt either.

But based on current information, Oscar Mayer seems a safe occasional bacon choice for the gluten-free diet. Just be sure to check labels, watch portions and use healthier cooking methods to minimize the downsides.

While not a daily health food, enjoying the smoky flavor of Oscar Mayer bacon in moderation can be a nice gluten-free treat.

Oscar Mayer Fully Cooked Bacon Review


Can celiacs eat bacon?

Many brands of bacon are gluten-free, but for added certainty, look for the gluten-free label when purchasing. Additionally, be wary of bacon served in breakfast buffets – sometimes they may have slices of bread placed underneath them to soak up the grease.

What makes bacon not gluten free?

“The vast majority of bacon products don’t include any gluten ingredients. However that doesn’t mean that your bacon is truly gluten free, you need to check it for potential gluten cross contamination… (products) may contain trace amounts of gluten because they’re processed in a shared facility or on shared equipment.”

What are the ingredients in Oscar Mayer bacon?


Are Oscar Mayer bacon bits gluten free?

Oscar Mayer is a Kraft Foods brand. It is Kraft Food’s policy “to list gluten-containing ingredients in the ingredient statement on the package label”. Oscar Mayer makes many different types of bacon bits, both imitation and real. The best way to determine if the bacon bits you want are gluten free, is to read the labels.

Where can I find Oscar Mayer Bacon?

Oscar Mayer: Almost all of us can find Oscar Mayer bacon easily at a local store. Oscar Mayer is a Kraft Foods Co. brand, which means food labels will disclose the use of any wheat, barley or rye ingredients. However, Kraft does not guarantee that foods with any gluten ingredients listed are completely free of potential cross-contamination.

Is Bacon gluten-free?

Now, bacon is just raw or smoked pork belly that has been preserved. Unless gluten is added, bacon doesn’t usually contain gluten ingredients and can usually be considered gluten-free. However, for anyone wanting to be sure, the brands and varieties of bacon listed below are labeled or certified gluten-free.

Is Bacon gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease?

One question we see a lot is about bacon. Specifically, what brands of bacon are gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease? Now, bacon is just raw or smoked pork belly that has been preserved. Unless gluten is added, bacon doesn’t usually contain gluten ingredients and can usually be considered gluten-free.

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