Jennifer Harris

Honeybaked Ham and Turkey is Indeed Gluten Free (GLUTEN WARNING – READ COMMENTS)

by Jennifer Harris on November 17th, 2010


Like many of you, this Examiner grew up having Honeybaked ham for the holidays.  It is such an easy meal and one that is a real crowd pleaser, so it was disturbing to learn that even thought the ham and the turkey are gluten free the glaze used on each contained gluten making it unsafe for those on the gluten-free diet.

Back in 2008, Honeybaked reformulated their glaze and removed gluten and soy making the hams/turkeys safe for those on a gluten-free diet, but not every store had the gluten-free versions.  By 2009 all of the stores had the gluten-free version of the hams/turkeys, but there was still some confusion in the gluten-free community.  To clear things up, the home office personally contacted the different divisions to be sure everyone had adopted the allergen-friendly glazes and found that they had. (Their modified food starch is corn based and the caramel color doesn’t contain gluten).

Now those of us on the gluten-free diet can have the ham/turkey from Honeybaked anytime of the year and we don't have to worry about eating it if it is offered at a work or social function.

The ingredients listed below come from their nutrition page and don’t contain wheat or gluten.

  • Sliced and Glazed Turkey
    • Ingredients: Turkey Breast, Turkey Broth, Dextrose, Salt, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Diacetate. Glazed With Sugar, Gelatin, Paprika (Color), Maltodextrin, Food Starch – Modified, Dextrose, Refinery Syrup, Honey, Spices, Natural Flavoring, and Brown Sugar. Invert Sugar.
  • Roasted and Smoked Turkey
    • Ingredients: Turkey Breast Meat, Turkey Broth, Potassium Lactate, Seasoning [Salt, Dextrose, Sugar, Natural Flavor, Artificial Maple Flavor (Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Maltodextrin, Corn Syrup)], Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Nitrite. Glazed With Sugar, Gelatin, Paprika (Color), Maltodextrin, Food Starch – Modified, Dextrose, Refinery Syrup, Honey, Spices, Natural Flavoring, and Brown Sugar. Invert Sugar.
  • Boneless Ham
    • Ingredients: Ham Cured With Water, Salt, Sodium Lactate, Sugar, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite. Glazed With Sugar, Gelatin, Paprika (Color), Maltodextrin, Food Starch – Modified, Dextrose, Refinery Syrup, Honey, Spices, Natural Flavoring, Brown Sugar. Invert Sugar.
  • Honey Baked Ham
    • Ingredients: Ham Cured with Water, Salt, Contains 2% or less of Sugar, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite. Glazed with Sugar, Gelatin, Paprika (Color), Maltodextrin, Food Starch – Modified, Dextrose, Refinery Syrup, Honey, Spices, Natural Flavoring, Brown Sugar, Invert Sugar.

--------------------------- Author Information: Jennifer D. Harris, Atlanta, GA Jennifer D. Harris, http://www.jenniferglutenfreeingeorgia.blogspot.com Gluten-Free Product Specialist, Return to Eden Program Chair, Atlanta Metro CeliacsTwitter@jenniferGFinGA


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15 Responses to “Honeybaked Ham and Turkey is Indeed Gluten Free (GLUTEN WARNING – READ COMMENTS)”

  1. Carol says:

    I see that although the ingredients appear to be gluten free they use the infamous Dextrose in their glaze. I have a gluten reaction to Dextrose every time I eat it. It is sugar made from wheat so I do not understand why people think that Dextrose is gluten free.

  2. Nathan Barney says:

    As I am empethetic to any and all bad experiences from allergens by eating what you thought was a gluten free Honey Baked Ham, I assure you they are 100% Gluten free. Just like it was said earlier in the post if you know you have allergies I would always request any glaze or sauces added to your meat should be skipped. Those of you who are saying that the company is misrepresenting the facts should probably get there facts straightened out before posting false comments!

  3. MJ says:

    After reading the article and the comments section, it seems there is probably a distinction to be made between “wheat free” vs “gluten free”. It looks like Honey Baked has done what they can to make sure that the product is “wheat free”. But if you read the ingredients — “natural flavors” can mean a variety of things, including contain gluten. In addition the “food starch – modified” can be left to interpretation and may be wheat derived UNLESS specifically stating “Modified corn starch”. After reading Hasselbeck’s book “The G-Free Diet” she describes how to really read ingredient labels. I would think if your gluten issue is a mild allergy, then you might be okay. But if I were true Celiac, then I would avoid the product with any glaze as Theo recommends. I’m certain they are trying to do the best they can, but I agree with EMB and would wait for 3rd party verification. I recently had the same issue with sliced turkey meat by Hillshire Farms. The lady I spoke with at customer service said that a lot of the ingredients like “natural flavors” are provided by 3rd party vendors. So while Hillshire Farms does not intentionally add any wheat/gluten to the lunch meat, they cannot vouch for the safety of 3rd party ingredients. It looks like it might be a similar situation with the Honey Baked Ham; you might be playing Russian Roulette where some might be G-free but not all, depending on where you live/shop. All I know is that every time my mom serves Honey Baked Ham, I have a big fat gluten allergy reaction. It just has taken me time to weed out what she served that might have had gluten, and it all points to the Ham. Moving forward, I’ll wait until it’s certified by a 3rd party as G-Free, but I won’t hold my breath…hope this perspective helps!

  4. Theo Hall says:

    You can ask for them to not put any glaze on the ham or turkey. It will take a few extra minutes, but they are more than willing to package you a ham or turkey without the glaze. This would assure you a gluten-free product.

  5. EMB says:

    We had Honey-Baked Ham and Turkey Breast on Christmas, having been assured by websites (and reading the label) that they were gluten free. NOT. My son has been feeling a low-grade gluten reaction since he ate them, even though he carefully avoided the glazes just to be extra safe. So UNTIL HONEY BAKED GETS A THIRD-PARTY GLUTEN-FREE CERTIFICATION LABEL on its packaging, WE WILL NOT BE EATING IT.

  6. Sherry Bryan says:

    Is your Honeybaked ham GLUTEN FREE???????

  7. Lori says:

    I ran across this posting as I am looking for G-F hams. I JUST called HoneyBaked Ham (in Dallas) and was told the hams are NOT G-F.

  8. shanna says:

    I have to say that I had a sample of ham tested through help from the celiac sprue association and it tested NEGATIVE FOR GLUTEN. So I apologize to them as I say HONEYBAKED HAM IS GLUTEN FREE. WOOHOO!!

  9. shanna says:

    I just called Honeybaked store in Mobile Alabama and was told that the honeybaked ham was gluten free. When I inquired about the glaze being gluten free the clerk asked me to hold for a moment while she checked. The clerk came back on the phone to say that the sugar glaze does indeed contain gluten!!! She said this information was posted in the office!! I am too angry for words..I will be making calls tomorrow to headquarters. My only consolation is in the fact that I knew it was a gluten exposure and I have validation . I am pissed and hope no young or elderly celiacs were duped the same way. How irresponsible!

  10. shanna says:

    I had Honeybaked ham for Christmas dinner and spent the entire evening in the bathroom with gluten reaction. Very sad since I had a houseful of guests. I intend to call today but expect to be told it is gluten free. I have been diagnosed 10 yrs ago and I know what my reaction is to exposure.

  11. Kat says:

    Yes, it is a Honeybaked Ham. I checked their web page as well and saw their claim to be “gluten free”. I have written to the company on the matter. The packaging clearly states “wheat.”

  12. Kat says:

    After researching the gluten content of these hams I found this article. Trustingly, I purchased a Honey Bake Ham for Thanksgiving. I am sad to report that the article is not completely true. After eating it I developed various, all to familiar gut issues. I read the label on the ham only to find “wheat” as an ingredient in the glaze. Even if you don’t eat the exterior, I believe the glaze ingredients invariably absorb into the ham itself. It still pays to read labels and even ask the company firsthand.

  13. Dolores Hoffer says:

    That’s great news. I haven’t had Honey Baked Ham in years……….

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