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  • Scott Adams

    Is Cheese Gluten-Free and Safe for People with Celiac Disease?

    Scott Adams
    1 1
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Can people with celiac disease eat cheese safely? Here's the story.

    Image: CC BY 2.0--WordRidden
    Caption: Image: CC BY 2.0--WordRidden

    Celiac.com 10/09/2020 - We get more than a few question about cheese. Specifically, is cheese gluten-free, and safe for people with celiac disease? With few exceptions, cheeses are made with milk, cultures, and often some kind of rennet to make them form into solid cheese.

    Most cheeses are gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease, and they appear on celiac.com's list of safe foods and ingredients. Unless wheat or gluten ingredients are added during or after processing, then cheese is gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease. That includes moldy cheeses like Blue, Gorganzola and Roquefort.

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    As always, check the label, to make sure no wheat or gluten ingredients have been added to the cheese.

    All Blue Cheeses are Gluten-Free

    Mass produced blue cheeses are gluten-free. For many years, bleu cheese was considered unsafe for those on the gluten-free diet because it was traditionally started with mold grown on regular gluten bread. However, very few, bleu cheeses are made this way nowadays, because manufacturers use a far more reliable lab grown mold as a starting agent instead of moldy bread. 

    However, even when bleu cheese is started from bread mold, testing of the finished product shows no detectable levels of gluten. Therefore, Blue (Bleu) cheeses, including Gorganzola and Roquefort, are considered gluten-free and safe for people on the gluten-free diet. 

    • A statement from the Canadian Celiac Association regarding bleu cheese reads in part: “The Canadian Celiac Association [CCA] has recently investigated a variety of blue cheese on the market and found that very few are made using bread mold, and when they are, the test results completed by Health Canada found no detectable levels of gluten in the final product. The new CCA Acceptability of Food and Food Ingredients for the Gluten-Free Diet pocket dictionary lists blue cheese as allowed on a gluten-free diet.”

    So, nearly all cheeses, including blue cheeses are gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease. As always, check labels and watch out for products that include wheat and gluten.

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.

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