does old bay have gluten

Old Bay seasoning is a popular spice blend used in many delicious recipes. However, if you have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you may be wondering whether Old Bay contains gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, and it can cause adverse reactions in individuals with gluten-related disorders. In this article, we will delve into the ingredients of Old Bay seasoning to answer the question: does Old Bay have gluten?

Understanding Gluten and Gluten Sensitivity

Before we explore whether Old Bay contains gluten, let’s first understand what gluten is and how it can affect those with gluten-related disorders. Gluten is a protein that provides elasticity to dough, helping it rise and giving it a chewy texture. While harmless for most people, individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity may experience digestive issues, skin rashes, fatigue, or other adverse reactions when they consume gluten.

The Ingredients of Old Bay Seasoning

To determine if Old Bay seasoning contains gluten, it’s essential to analyze its ingredients. Here is a list of the primary components found in Old Bay:

  • Celery Salt
  • Spices (including Red Pepper and Black Pepper)
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • And more!

Old Bay’s ingredient list does not explicitly mention any sources of gluten such as wheat, barley, or rye. However, some potential sources of gluten might be hidden under general terms in the spices or flavorings used. To further elucidate whether Old Bay seasoning is gluten-free, it is crucial to look beyond the listed ingredients.

Old Bay’s Gluten-Free Status

While Old Bay seasoning does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients, it is worth noting that the manufacturer of Old Bay, McCormick & Company, does not label it as gluten-free. This lack of gluten-free labeling may be due to the potential cross-contamination risks during the manufacturing process. Cross-contamination can occur when gluten-containing products are processed in the same facility as gluten-free products, leading to trace amounts of gluten in the supposedly gluten-free seasoning.

However, many individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease safely consume Old Bay seasoning without experiencing any adverse effects. It is important to consider your individual sensitivities and consult with a healthcare professional or dietitian if you have concerns about using Old Bay or any other spice blend.

Tips for Choosing Gluten-Free Seasonings

If you are following a gluten-free diet, you might wonder how to select safe seasonings. Here are some tips to help you choose gluten-free seasonings:

  1. Read the ingredient labels carefully, looking for any potential sources of gluten such as wheat, barley, or rye.
  2. Look for gluten-free certifications or gluten-free labels on the packaging.
  3. Research the manufacturer’s gluten-free practices and labeling policies.
  4. Consider purchasing seasonings from dedicated gluten-free brands or those that follow strict gluten-free manufacturing processes to minimize cross-contamination risks.


In conclusion, Old Bay seasoning does not contain any ingredients that are considered sources of gluten. However, due to potential cross-contamination risks, it is not labeled as gluten-free. If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, it is advisable to proceed with caution and evaluate your individual tolerance before using Old Bay or any other seasonings. Always consult with a healthcare professional or dietitian for personalized advice on maintaining a gluten-free diet.