Are you a fan of McCormick’s Old Bay seasoning but unsure if it’s gluten-free?
You’re not alone. With so many seasoning mixes on the market, it can be challenging to determine which ones are safe for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
In this article, we’ll dive into the ingredients of Old Bay seasoning and explore whether or not it contains gluten. We’ll also discuss the importance of reading labels and provide tips for ensuring your seasonings are gluten-free.
So, let’s get started!
Is McCormick Old Bay Seasoning Gluten Free?
The answer is yes, McCormick’s Old Bay seasoning is gluten-free. According to the company’s website, none of their products, including Old Bay, contain any gluten-containing ingredients. The current ingredients listed on the Old Bay website are celery salt, spices (including red pepper and black pepper), and paprika. None of these ingredients contain gluten.
It’s important to note that while some Old Bay products are labeled as gluten-free, such as the Old Bay Gluten Free Seasoning, the original Old Bay seasoning has been confirmed as gluten-free.
What Is Old Bay Seasoning?
Old Bay seasoning is a versatile blend of herbs and spices that was originally created in Baltimore, Maryland. The seasoning is marketed in the United States by McCormick & Company and is regionally popular, specifically in Maryland, as well as in the Mid-Atlantic States, the Southern States, parts of New England and the Gulf Coast. The exact recipe for Old Bay seasoning is a closely guarded secret, but it is known to contain celery salt, spices (including red pepper and black pepper), and paprika. Other possible ingredients include laurel leaves, mustard, cardamom, cloves, and ginger. Some sources suggest that Old Bay contains a total of 18 herbs and spices.
Old Bay seasoning has a complex savory flavor with bay leaf, celery salt, mustard, and pepper at the forefront. Paprika and various other spices add depth and make this a well-rounded seasoning. While Old Bay seasoning is famously used for shellfish and other seafood, it works wonderfully on poultry and pork as well. It can also be used to flavor soups, stews, creamy salads or dips, or sprinkled on veggies, fries, or even popcorn.
While the exact ingredients are not revealed, making your own Old Bay substitute at home is easy. This allows you to adjust the spice mix to your taste, salt intake, and more. It’s important to note that McCormick’s Old Bay seasoning is gluten-free and does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients.
Ingredients In Old Bay Seasoning
Old Bay seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is widely used across the United States to flavor seafood dishes, including Maryland-style crab cakes. The exact ingredients used in the seasoning are not revealed by McCormick, the company that produces Old Bay. However, it is known that the original version contained 18 ingredients, most of which have remained a heavily guarded secret.
The primary ingredients in Old Bay seasoning include celery salt, spices (including red pepper and black pepper), and paprika. Celery salt is a mixture of salt and celery seed, which gives the seasoning a slightly salty and earthy flavor. The spices used in Old Bay seasoning vary, but commonly include red pepper and black pepper. Paprika is also a key ingredient, adding a sweet and smoky flavor to the blend.
Other spices that may be used in Old Bay seasoning include laurel leaves, mustard, cardamom, cloves, and ginger, as listed in the original product in the Baltimore Museum of Industry. These spices add depth and complexity to the seasoning mix, creating a unique and robust flavor profile.
Is Old Bay Seasoning Gluten-Free?
Many people wonder whether Old Bay seasoning is gluten-free. The good news is that Old Bay seasoning is indeed gluten-free. McCormick, the company that produces Old Bay, confirms on its website that none of their products, including Old Bay, contain any gluten-containing ingredients.
The ingredients in the original Old Bay seasoning include celery salt, spices (including red pepper and black pepper), and paprika. None of these ingredients contain gluten. It’s important to read the label of any seasoning mix carefully to ensure that it doesn’t contain any gluten-containing ingredients.
While some Old Bay products are labeled as gluten-free, such as the Old Bay Gluten Free Seasoning, the original Old Bay seasoning has been confirmed as gluten-free. If you have any concerns about a specific brand or product, it’s always a good idea to reach out to the manufacturer with your questions.
Understanding Gluten-Free Labels
When shopping for gluten-free products, it’s important to understand the labeling regulations and what to look for on the package. The FDA has established standards for labeling products as “gluten-free” to ensure that they meet the needs of people with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders.
If a product is labeled as “gluten-free,” it means that it contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This is the threshold that has been determined to be safe for people with celiac disease. However, it’s important to note that some products may be made in facilities that also process gluten-containing ingredients. In these cases, the product can still be labeled as “gluten-free” as long as the manufacturer has taken steps to prevent cross-contact with gluten.
When reading labels, start by looking for obvious sources of gluten such as wheat, barley, and rye. Ingredients like malt and dextrin may also contain gluten, so it’s important to know how they were derived. Additionally, there are many forms of wheat derivatives that may be used in products, such as semolina, farro, and farina.
It’s also important to read the allergen statement on the label. If wheat is listed in the “contains” statement, the product is not gluten-free. If wheat is not listed in the statement, you should still check for other ingredients that may contain gluten, such as oats or yeast extract.
Finally, it’s worth noting that some products may be naturally gluten-free but not labeled as such. In these cases, it’s important to read the ingredient list carefully and do your own research on any unfamiliar ingredients.
Tips For Finding Gluten-Free Seasonings
If you’re looking for gluten-free seasonings, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Look for the certified gluten-free label on the product. According to FDA rules, products must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten in order to carry this claim.
2. Read the product ingredient label carefully, especially if the product is not labeled “gluten-free.” Look out for red flag words such as modified starch/modified food starch, wheat flour/wheat starch, wheat crumbs, or hydrolyzed wheat protein.
3. Avoid spices and seasoning blends from bulk bins due to the potential for cross-contamination.
4. Choose spices and seasoning blends from companies that avoid gluten-containing ingredients, have good manufacturing practices and are willing to make a statement about their gluten-free status.
5. Use extra caution when purchasing spices and seasonings from markets that focus on imported products. Some countries have less stringent food safety and labeling standards, and the store may have limited information about their suppliers.
By following these tips, you can ensure that the seasonings you use in your cooking are safe for those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
Conclusion: Enjoying Old Bay Seasoning Safely
If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, you can enjoy McCormick’s Old Bay seasoning safely. The company has strict allergen, sanitation, and hygiene programs in place to ensure that their products are free from cross-contamination. Additionally, all of their employees are trained in the importance of correct labeling and equipment clean-up procedures to minimize any potential risk of cross-contact.
If you are unsure about whether a product contains gluten, always check the label or contact the manufacturer directly. In the case of McCormick’s Old Bay seasoning, the company provides a phone number on their packaging for customers to call with any questions.