Not All Gluten-free Products are Marked as Such - Celiac Disease
Oct 10 2009

Not All Gluten-free Products are Marked as Such

Did you know that Jimmy Dean made some “no gluten ingredients” products? Until this week, I didn’t know it myself. As usual, I was randomly picking up products and reading labels in Publix the other day. When I have the time, I do this when shopping and almost always find a new mainstream product that is safe to eat. Many even have gluten-free on the label, though it’s often very small. Sometimes I find several safe items during one gluten-free sleuthing session.

While looking for some sausage in the freezer case, I noticed the Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls. I picked one up and began reading the label but the text was black on a red box. In other words I could not read it very thoroughly but I did make out the toll free number on the package. Within a couple of minutes I was speaking to the customer service person at Jimmy Dean (or Sara Lee who owns them).

It took a while for the person to find the ingredients after I gave her the bar code from the box. They ask for the code because each one helps them locate the exact ingredients for the product you’re asking about. In the end, it turns out that most of the Breakfast Bowls are made without gluten ingredients. Avoid the one with pancakes in it, of course. The company does not test for the presence of gluten in their products, so I’d have to be a guinea pig in order to figure out if the product was safe for me to eat. Based on my instincts which have no steered me wrong in over three years, I decided to give it a try.

The Bacon, Egg , Potato and Cheese Breakfast Bowl did seem to be gluten-free, though I’m not telling people to run out and buy this product. The way something affects me has nothing to do with anyone else. In my case, if I’m not doubled over in pain – my reaction to slight cross contamination – I consider the product safe to consume. Obviously, if someone just can’t tolerate a product made in a facility that produces wheat – then they should avoid consuming them.

Every doctor I’ve spoken to or read studies from, suggests that there is not one rule for every person who can’t eat gluten to follow. Most importantly, they should try and avoid any products made with gluten ingredients. After that, everyone is different. Some people report not being able to eat potato chips made with potatoes, oil and salt because they are processed on the same lines as wheat chips. Those people should probably avoid those products.

Everyone is different and that is why each person has to make the right choice for them. Something that I think all of us need to understand is that none of us should suggest anyone eat something because we can. And of course, no one should be telling others not to eat something. They can share their personal story if they have a problem with an item, of course. But in the end, everyone needs to  do what works for them personally.

Just last week someone stated on a blog that they thought M&M’s contained gluten. According to the company, M&M’sare gluten-free. If they made someone sick, then the person probably ought to start investigating what other food intolerances they have besides gluten. Every time someone has a reaction to food, it is not because they have consumed gluten. Many times it probably is, but  most of us don’t want to admit we might have to avoid something besides gluten.  In our defense, avoiding gluten is a big enough task in and of itself, without adding anything else to the mix.

Because I found the Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowl to be a fairly good value (one serving is two for me), next I’ll try their Breakfast Scramble from the same line. It appears to be even more of a great value. If you want to check out any of the companies products, they assured me that they will  list ALL forms of gluten on the label, even though this is still not required by law in the U.S. They will list wheat, rye, barley AND oats if any are present in the product.

Let us know if you’ve tried any of the products from Jimmy Dean and if so, how they were for you.

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. Theresa Nelson says:

    I’ve tried the Jimmy Dean D-lights – made with turkey bacon or turkey sausage. 1/2 the calories of the original and they taste awesome! I’ve starting bringing them to work for lunch.

    • B says:

      so, if you remove the bread with the d-lights, is the rest gluten free? i have been trying to determine if jimmy dean turkey sausage is gluten free?

  2. Tiffany Janes says:

    Theresa – what a great idea! Actually, the calorie count on the product I had sort of floored me. It was especially bad because I added a little cheese and sour cream to it…lol! I will look for the D-lights next time – thanks for the info!

  3. Tiffany Janes says:

    We just used the Jimmy Dean pork sausage which is gluten-free. You’d have to read the label and/or call the company to ask about the turkey sausage. We like the Jone Dairy Farm turkey sausage which has gluten free right on the front of the box! Also, removing the bread from something does not make it gluten-free. Once the gluten bread has touched the rest of the food, it’s not gluten-free.

  4. barbara says:

    i just bought some peanut m&m’s and they said in the ingredients starch (including wheat) im in australia

    • Bonn says:

      As far as I know, m&ms made outside the US tend to have wheat starch in them. When I was living in Japan that was the case. (Although oddly, some sizes of m&m packages would say they specifically had wheat starch ?????? and some just said starch ????. I just took the safe route and didn’t eat any of them.) But as I understand it, American m&ms are safe unless they’re the crunchy or pretzel varieties.

    • naomie says:

      As far as i know m&m’s are not glutin or coeliac free in Australia.
      Does anyone know if Coke is? coke zero etc aswell?

  5. Sandra Adams says:

    In Australia, the ingredients listed on the back of M&M’s packs include: starch (Sources include wheat) and glucose syrup (Sources include wheat)

  6. Brenda says:

    I have tried the Jimmy Dean ham and cheese omelette – no gluten


  1. Sara Lee says:

    […] Not All Gluten-free Products are Marked as Such » Tiffany Janes – PeopleRank: 1 – October 10, 2009 …Sara Lee who owns them). It took a while for the person to find the ingredients after I gave her the bar code from the box. They ask for the code because each one helps them locate the exact ingredients for the product you’re asking about. In the end,… Cited people : Jimmy Dean  Jimmy-Dean Breakfast Bowl  Jimmy-Dean Breakfast Bowls  + vote […]

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