I’m really not a huge ham eater – if I told you that before, I apologize.
But in fact, I rarely eat meat. Once a year around the holidays or even when one of our families decides to make a ham on Thanksgiving, the Great Ham God comes to me and whispers in my ear ever so softly, “Eat me… I taste oh so good. So delicious and sweet.”
I think the Great Ham God may be related to the God of Drinking Too Much Wine (that one can really get you, but that’s a story for another place and another time), but I’m not so sure if they’re related or are having a strong affair…
It’s only then when the Great Ham God whispers so sweetly that I cave and I always have to have a piece. And it’s not really the ham that I crave, but the delicious glaze… so sweet and sugary and delicious.
Though, the glazes are what really get you. They’re usually the part of the ham that has allergens hidden inside, lurking in there, waiting for you to eat them and get super sick either immediately or a few days later – take your pick.
Luckily, my family always makes their own glaze, which ensures a perfect allergy free and gluten free ham, but for those of you who have family or friends who will be cooking for the holidays, make sure to either offer to make the glaze for the ham or politely ask them what the ingredients are to be sure you won’t get sick.
I’m sure they’ll appreciate you staying on top of everything.. and if they want to continue to use a glaze you’re allergic to because it’s tradition or they like the taste, then at least you know you should bring a side dish or something that is allergy free that you can eat.
Or, sneak a piece of allergy free, gluten free ham in your purse or pocket to snack on while everyone’s enjoying their allergy filled ham. HAHA All joking aside, I seriously think I would do that if I was ham crazy… last week I wanted to make and bring allergy free Naan to the Indian restaurant we were going to – no joke! I get super jealous when I see my friends eating garlicky, buttery and oh so delicious Naan without me!
So I’ve compiled this allergy free ham list for the holidays. Feel free to add to it in the comments below or let me know if there are any hams I’m missing because I will gladly add to it.
If you’re someone who loves turkey or are also making a turkey this holiday season, be sure to check out my Allergy Free Holiday Turkey List too!
All Boar’s Head meats are gluten free. On their site they say, that all meats “contain no fillers, gluten, artificial colors, flavors or trans fat.”
All of their hams are listed as being gluten free on their website. Their animals are also on a strict vegetarian diet of corn, soybeans, and rolled oats. There are no pesticides, hormones, animal by-products, or fish-meal fed to their animals.
HARRY & DAVID
This is what it says on Harry & David’s website regarding allergies:
“Harry & David Operations, Inc. is in compliance with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Title II of Public Law 108-282) as of January 1, 2006. Harry & David is 100% compliant with the new Act as currently defined.
“We have contacted our ingredient suppliers to insure that all ingredients are declared on the label. Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, our labels list all ingredients. For those with peanut allergies, we also include a disclaimer stating “May contain trace amounts of other nuts or allergens not listed in the ingredients”. Also, since Gluten and other allergens are found in wheat and some other grain products, we encourage you to read the ingredient information carefully and determine if the product is appropriate for your consumption. If you cannot locate an ingredient label on the product you received, contact us with the product name or item number and we will gladly research the information for you.”
HOLIDAY HAM COMPANY
I just got an email from Holiday Ham Company today (12/12/11) saying that all of their hams and their glazes are free of the top 8 allergens.
On HoneyBaked Ham’s website they state that their hams and glaze are all gluten free. Though I have heard that this is not true for all stores, so please make sure you check all glaze labels because some of their glazes DO contain gluten and probably other allergens such as soy.
Here’s a list of all their foods that are gluten free. Direct from their website and updated 7/11/11 –> Gluten Free Hormel Foods
I was able to find a gluten free list on their site that lists all of their products that are gluten free –> Kroger’s Gluten Free List
I spoke with them on the phone this morning 12/13/11 @ 11am and they’re VERY nice. The woman said that the only thing that would possibly be a problem would be any glazes, but that almost all of their glazes only contained sugar, cloves, salt, and then the ham.
If you have a specific ham in mind, I suggest calling to ask because they will need to check the nutrition information for each ham individually since they don’t have that information posted online. Here’s the # 1.888.552.3190. If you’re making your own glaze, then you also know you’ll be completely fine.
The best I could find on Safeway was this post from Celiac Disease.com –> Safeway Gluten Free List
Though I also found this information on Safeway’s website which they said (I know it contains info about their other meat products, not just turkey, but it’s also good to know):
“All fresh meats are gluten free naturally. Our hot dogs and bacon are gluten free as we do not add fillers. Most flavors of our gourmet chicken sausages are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. While most of our products do not contain gluten, we are only making a gluten-free claim on our packaging if it comes from a facility that is “certified gluten free”. Currently, five of our six chicken sausages have “gluten free” certification on their packaging.
“All fresh meats are dairy/casein-free. Hot dogs and bacon are also dairy/casein-free. Some flavors of sausage are dairy/casein-free, while others contain gourmet cheese.”
Just called Smithfield Foods Corporate Office of Consumer Affairs at 1.800.444.5226 on 12/13/11 @ 11:00am. They just told me that all of their hams and their ham glazes are free of the top 8 allergens!
TARGET ARCHER FARMS
I called Target’s Offices today 12/13/11 @ 11:00am. Their number is 1-800-440-0680. You need to then press 1, Press 2, Press 3, Press 2 and you’ll be directly connected with someone.
The woman told me they mark on all their labels if there are any allergens in their hams. She couldn’t give me any specifics. If there is a specific ham you’re interested in I suggest calling also and letting them know the exact ham you want to find information about.
Like most other grocery stores, Trader Joe’s has a gluten free product list –> Trader Joes Gluten Free List
VIRGINIA TRADITIONS HAMS
Check their website and nutrition facts on each individual ham depending on what you’re looking for. I noticed that some hams are okay and only have 1 or 2 ingredients, but one I looked at actually had soybean oil in it. The best way is to check their sitedepending on what kind of ham you’re eating.
Wegmans has an entire PDF list of all the products they manufacture that are gluten free –> Wegmans Gluten Free List
Also, if you ever needed help finding out more about food allergies, Wegmans also has a page on their site dedicated to it along with some great allergy free resources.
As of 10/28/11 Weis said on their website that, “all Weis Quality Fresh and Frozen Turkeys are gluten free.” This is the only information on allergens in their food that I could find on their site.
I’ll let you do this on your own.. Wellshire Farms has a super helpful Allergy Free search you can easily do on their website. Now, not all top 8 allergens are listed here because I believe they only list the allergens that some of their foods may have. But continue to read labels and check it out –> Wellshire Farms Allergen Free Search
Contact your meat department at your community Whole Foods Market for all information regarding meats.
That’s it for the piggies! Happy Holidays and don’t forget to check out my Allergy Free Holiday Turkey list!!