A gluten-free sausage is a sausage that is made without ingredients that contain gluten. In addition, gluten-free sausage should be prepared on and with equipment that has not been exposed to gluten. Individuals who are sensitive to gluten or who have celiac disease should be aware that gluten-free standards can vary by both legal jurisdiction as well as the labeling practices of an individual sausage producer. If someone is concerned about whether a sausage or other processed meat product is truly gluten free, he or she should contact the manufacturer of the product directly.
Gluten is a protein that originates in certain grains, such as barley, rye, and wheat. Some people have sensitivities to gluten and may develop uncomfortable and even dangerous symptoms in reaction to gluten exposure. Unfortunately for those who have these sensitivities, gluten is found in many foods, cosmetics, and personal care products. Processed foods, in particular, often contain gluten, and sausages are no exception, making it important for those with sensitivities to seek out and choose gluten-free sausage.
Sausage is a processed meat product that is typically made from one or more types of meat that have been chopped up, blended with other ingredients and seasonings, and then stuffed into a casing. While many sausages are made entirely from meat, some include cereals or other grain-based fillers. In addition, some of the seasonings used in the preparation of sausages may likewise contain gluten. For example, many commercial brands of soy sauce contain gluten, and soy sauce may be used in a sausage recipe. Very cheap sausages may contain a significant amount of cereal filler, as may vegetarian sausages that are typically made from grains or legumes.
When considering the purchase of a sausage that will be consumed by somebody with a gluten intolerance, shoppers should take care to read product labels carefully. Even if a label does not indicate that the sausage is made with ingredients containing gluten, there is the possibility that the sausage was exposed to gluten during the manufacturing process. For example, if a sausage maker used a knife or meat grinder that had previously been used to prepare a sausage that contains gluten, cross-contamination can result. Shoppers should look for a label that specifically states that the sausages are gluten free and may even wish to speak to the manufacturer about its standards. Other options for obtaining gluten-free sausage include learning how to make sausage at home or relying on mail-order companies that specialize in gluten-free products.