is pastrami gluten free

Pastrami is a popular deli meat known for its flavorful taste and unique texture. If you follow a gluten-free diet, you may be wondering if pastrami is a safe choice for you. In this article, we will explore whether pastrami is gluten-free and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

What is Gluten?

Before we dive into the gluten content of pastrami, let’s first understand what gluten is. Gluten is a type of protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It gives dough its elasticity and helps it rise during baking. However, for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can lead to various health issues.

Ingredients Used in Pastrami

Pastrami is typically made from beef, although other meats like turkey or pork can also be used. The traditional process of making pastrami involves brining the meat, seasoning it with various spices, and then smoking it. While the basic ingredients used in pastrami preparation are gluten-free, there are a few factors to consider.

1. Seasonings

The spices and seasonings used in pastrami can sometimes contain gluten as an added ingredient. It is essential to check the label of the specific brand or variety of pastrami you are considering to ensure it does not contain any gluten-containing seasonings.

2. Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination can occur during the processing or slicing of pastrami. If the same slicer or cutting board is used for gluten-containing products like bread or other meats, there is a risk of gluten contamination. This can be a concern for individuals with celiac disease or high gluten sensitivity.

Gluten-Free Pastrami Options

Fortunately, there are gluten-free options available for pastrami lovers. Look for these alternatives, which are generally safe for a gluten-free diet:

  • Brands that clearly label their pastrami as gluten-free
  • Pastrami that is processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility
  • Pastrami that has been certified gluten-free by a reputable organization

By choosing these options, you can enjoy delicious pastrami without worrying about gluten contamination.

How to Ensure Gluten-Free Safety

Here are some steps you can take to ensure your pastrami is gluten-free:

  1. Read labels carefully: Always check the packaging for any mention of gluten or potential cross-contamination.
  2. Choose trusted brands: Opt for brands that have a reputation for producing gluten-free products.
  3. Contact the manufacturer: If you are unsure about a particular brand or product, reach out to the manufacturer for more information.
  4. Ask at the deli counter: If you are purchasing pastrami from a deli counter, ask the staff about gluten-free options and any precautions they take to prevent cross-contamination.
  5. Prepare your own: If you have concerns about cross-contamination, consider making your own pastrami at home using gluten-free ingredients.


In conclusion, pastrami can be gluten-free, but it is crucial to be mindful of potential sources of gluten contamination. Always read labels, choose trusted brands, and communicate with manufacturers or deli staff to ensure your pastrami is safe for a gluten-free diet. By being informed and taking necessary precautions, you can continue to enjoy this delicious deli meat without compromising your dietary preferences or health.