Hot dogs make a great quick meal for kids and adults alike, and can be loads of fun to cook on the grill. But while the stores are filled with different brands of frankfurters, are any of them considered gluten-free?
Fortunately for those of us with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, lots of hot dogs available nationwide and regionally in stores meet the proposed U.S. Food and Drug Administration definition of gluten-free, which means they contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
A few hot dog manufacturers even have taken the extra step to get their products certified gluten-free, which means they meet more stringent standards and may contain less gluten cross-contamination than non-certified products.
Here's a list of what hot dogs are available, and what their manufacturers say about their gluten-free status. Pick up some gluten-free hot dog buns, and enjoy!
• Applegate Farms. Applegate Farms produces six different types of organic hot dogs from beef, chicken, turkey and pork, plus four more "natural" hot dog varieties. According to the company, all are considered gluten-free to at least 20ppm, and there is no gluten used in the facility where the hot dogs are manufactured. Contact Applegate Farms at 866-587-5858.
• Ball Park. Ball Park Franks states that its hot dogs' labels will reflect the ingredients in the products. Contact Ball Park at 800-925-3326.
• Bar-S. One Bar-S hot dog product contains gluten — the corn dogs, which include wheat flour in the batter. The others contain no gluten ingredients, but may be manufactured in the same facility as the corn dogs. Contact Bar-S at 800-699-4115.
• Boar's Head. Boar's Head, which makes luncheon meats, cheeses and other products in addition to hot dogs, lists everything it makes except for its soups as gluten-free (the soups are made in a separate facility). The company works with its suppliers to make sure the ingredients coming into its plants are free of gluten, a company spokesperson says. Contact Boar's Head at 800-352-6277.
• Dietz & Watson. Almost all of Dietz & Watson's products are gluten-free (avoid the scrapple and the bockwurst). The company is certified gluten-free by the Celiac Sprue Association, which means its products are tested to make certain they contain fewer than 5 parts per million of gluten. Contact Dietz & Watson at 215-831-9000.
• Gwaltney. Gwaltney, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, does not use gluten ingredients in its hot dogs, according to the company. Contact Gwaltney at 855-411-7675.
• Hebrew National. Hebrew National is a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, which has a policy of disclosing any gluten ingredients on product labels. The company says gluten-free consumers should check labels for any ingredient from a wheat, barley or rye source, which will be fully disclosed. The company does not label gluten-free, and will not necessarily disclose any potential cross-contamination issues. Contact Hebrew National at 866-432-6281.
• Kunzler. Kunzler makes hot dogs, bacon, ham and lunch meats. According to the company, its hot dogs contain only naturally gluten-free ingredients and are made in a separate gluten-free room. Contact Kunzler at 888-586-9537.
• Nathan's Famous. Nathan's eliminated a gluten ingredient from the company's hot dogs several years ago, making them gluten-free to at least 20ppm. The company says it produces the products in a gluten-free facility. Contact Nathan's at 800-925-3663.
• Organic Prairie. Organic Valley brand Organic Prairie states that all its meats, including its hot dogs, are gluten-free. The company does note that the packaging of some of its meat products might contain corn gluten, so you should call the company for further information if you're also sensitive to corn. Contact Organic Valley at 888-444-6455.
• Oscar Mayer. Oscar Mayer, a Kraft company, follows the Kraft policy of disclosing any gluten-containing ingredients on the product's label, and so gluten-free consumers considering an Oscar Mayer hot dog should check the label. Contact Oscar Mayer at 877-535-5666.
• Sabrett. Sabrett's hot dogs (and its other products) are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which means they contain less than 10ppm of gluten. Contact Sabrett at 800-772-7388.
• Wellshire Farms. Wellshire Farms, a very allergy-friendly company, makes several different types of hot dogs. The company states that "we strive very hard to avoid any cross contamination in our plants of trace gluten." Contact Wellshire Farms at 877-467-2331.