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How to Look for Gluten in Ingredient Lists

The first step to finding out whether a food is gluten-free is to read the label. And, the key to efficient label-reading is: knowing what to look for.

You can look for the obvious no-no’s — wheat, rye, barley and anything made with them (such as malt vinegar) — but you still have to be on the lookout for cross-contaminated oats and their derivatives.

For gluten-containing ingredients other than wheat, or to check ingredients you’ve never heard of, check the Safe Gluten-Free Food List/Unsafe Foods & Ingredients list at You may want to print out a copy of the lists and take it with you when you shop so that you can consult it at need.

Even with ingredient listings you can’t always tell whether a product is gluten-free, mostly because some ingredients aren’t consistent; sometimes they have gluten, and sometimes they don’t.

Check labels often. Ingredients change, and a product that may have been gluten-free at one time may not necessarily still be gluten-free.

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