Are Gluten-Free Oreos Celiac Safe?

gluten free oreos celiac

I have gotten A LOT of messages/emails regarding the new Gluten-Free Oreos? I get the excitement, being able to have a taste of your pre-celiac days. I mean…it’s just a cookie…but I do get it.

But are they really celiac safe and do I recommend them? This should be an easy question, but of course when it comes to celiac disease, easy questions are hard to come by. So follow along the bouncing ball and let’s take this a step at a time.

First…a few notes of interest:

  • Yes the cookies are “Certified Gluten-Free”. I don’t put too much stock in that label. That is a post for another day.
  • Did you know there was a petition started 7 years ago to get Nabisco to make gluten-free Oreos and it’s gotten over 3,000 signatures? Kind of an odd thing to petition for but hey…who am I to say?
  • I’m not really a cookie guy. Even as a kid, when I was a cookie guy, Oreos were not my thing. Fresh Fig Newtons? Bring ’em on. Chips Ahoy with cold milk? Gimme…gimme…gimme. Bugles and Cheese Doodles? I could eat a whole bag.
  • wrote an article in November promoting the Oreos, without even confirming if they were safe or not. Man…those guys drive me nuts.

Ok…let’s take a look at the ingredients: Sugar, White Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Palm Oil, Canola Oil, Whole Oat Flour, Cornstarch, Cocoa (processed with alkali), Invert Sugar, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda, Salt, Xanthan Gum, Chocolate, Artificial Flavor

[keep it to yourself Gluten Dude]

What is the one ingredient that jumps out at you? I’ll give you a hint. Think Cheerios. That’s right, the Whole Oat Flour. A quick refresher course on oats: Oats by themselves are gluten-free (though I know some celiacs have a hard time processing them.) But oats are harvested in the same field as wheat and barley…two big celiac no-nos. So cross-contamination is a huge issue. How huge? Here’s a visual for you.

Crazy, right? So if they are that contaminated, how do they make them safe for those with celiac disease? Well…the company has two options:

  1. They can use oats that are specially made/harvested/stored in fields and facilities with oats only, avoiding all possibilities of CC. These would be “purity protocol oats”.
  2. They can use oats that are contaminated, but then use “a process” to remove the wheat and the barley.

Naturally, they went with option 2. What process are they using? I have no idea. I have asked them twice on Twitter if they are using the same (sh*tty) sorting process as Cheerios? And while they seem to respond to every tweet that praises the GF cookie, they won’t respond to me. Take that as you wish.

Transparency goes a long way with the celiac community but these big corporations don’t seem to care.

So…to answer your questions:

Are they celiac safe? Maybe. Probably. Possibly. Who knows?!
Do I recommend them? No I don’t. Not until they are transparent about their oats.

In the words of Forest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.

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29 thoughts on “Are Gluten-Free Oreos Celiac Safe?”

  1. Apparently they are using certified gluten free oats, but those are still sorted oats. In order to be “safe” for people like me to eat (can’t eat certified…still get sick), they would have to be purity protocol oats, which are grown in dedicated fields, processed in dedicated plants, etc. I’m picky about my oats, and won’t be eating the new Oreos. I will stick with the Kinnikinnick ones!

  2. and your not even gonna talk about quality issues — gmo& such—– and speaking of corp. douchbags– quick as you can say ‘bottom line’ my beloved canyon bakehouse everything bagels have morphed— they’ve lost weight and they now seem to gave a taste & texture that screams more cheap starch— kinda like the crap version they make now for trader joe’s– just not as full tilt—if 50 years in the healthy foods arena has taught me anything it is that when you sell-out you always lose quality—–

    1. That is what everyone does with their products to increase profitability. They say people don’t notice, but we do and it seems that almost ALL companies are in this for the game, not the customer.

  3. Thank you for addressing this. I, too, am picky about my oats and will not be eating these. I feel I cannot trust the company, whatever it says. I have waited 28 years for gluten free Oreos and I will continue to wait. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

  4. Oh, thank you for this. I haven’t pointed these out to my 13 year old yet as I couldn’t figure out if the oats were safe or if they were Cheerios oats. *sigh*

    I was really hoping this would be a quick, cheap snack he could grab if hanging out with friends that would be “normal” teenager food. Ah well. I am glad he is past the tears and crushing disappointments the littlest ones seem to feel but it is still hard when you just want to fit in a little or you have to explain to grandma for the 50th time that yes, it says gf on it but it still isn’t safe but she doesn’t quite get it because it SAYS it should be safe.

    Anyway, we like the “generic” gluten free oreo type cookies and we know they are edible without fear of pain and suffering. Sick of corporations making this harder than it needs to be.

  5. As a chemist, I can tell you the size exclusion technique used by cheerios is a perfectly legit purification method. Where they go wrong is blending multiple batches to test rather than testing batches individually. This artificially skews data on a contamination lower.

    That being said, I’ll stick with glutino cream filled cookies as an oreo alternative.

  6. And this is why I would rather read all the articles from you than the wishy washy things that come from everyone else. Thank you!

  7. I’m confused about why Cheerios can’t have the certified GF logo, but these can- if they’re using the same process?

  8. We were very excited about the gluten free Oreo cookies – but unfortunately my daughter had a (reaction) not a bad one but still a reaction to the cookies.

  9. I have a few less sensitive celiac friends that didn’t want to believe me when I said that Cherrios made me sick. I have been eating the gluten free oreos and while my reaction hasn’t been as bad as with Cheerios I am still reacting to them. I can eat Quaker gluten free oatmeal no issue. These cookies aren’t celiac safe.

  10. Have you read the certification process? They allow a STEP DOWN process. Here is how it works:
    They have to test 3 times per at first.
    If that is below the ppm for long enough, they can test 1 time.
    If that is below the ppm long enough, they can test 1 time per day.
    If that is below the ppm long enough, they can test 1 time per week.
    If that is below the ppm long enough, they can test 1 time per month.
    This continues to 1 time per year.

    In my opinion, oats need to be tested CONSTANTLY. This is because oat fields are randomly contaminated.

    I am disappointed to see another product that seems to be like General Mills. This just adds more explaining for me with family and friends.

  11. I’m having the worst reaction/flare up I’ve had in three years and I ate a few
    Of these three weeks ago. Seems right!!
    I knew it was too good to be true.
    In fairness, I should not be eating these anyways… I also find that sugar makes things exponentially worse for DH flare ups! I’ve learned my lesson here and will not trust it anymore.
    I’m also Catholic and thought I would be OK with the “gluten free host” but had severe reactions from that a few years ago too. That is a whole other discussion!! Thanks for posting this. I would not have pin pointed these little chocolate devils as the culprit this time if I had not seen your post.

    1. I’m an Orthodox Christian, and we have similarly strict views on communion to you all. Also, we mix the wine and bread together, and the priests would try to “just give a tiny bit of the wine.” I was feeling bad all the time, and I obviously can’t prove it wasn’t something else that got me. But, I do know that I feel better now that I finally got permission from the Bishop to take wine that was kept separate. I know just taking wine probably isn’t an option in the Catholic Church, but I just wanted to extend my sympathies. It’s very awkward and stressful. Everyone has an opinion and it’s frequently not an informed one. I’ve had priests say everything from, “communion can’t make you sick” to things like “it’s not your job to demand a miracle, so just take the wine.” I’m curious what your solution had been?

      Strangely enough, I’ve eaten several packages of gf oreos and been fine. Life is crazy. 🤷🤔

      Good luck.

  12. Mondelez told me in December that they had no official information (which I find unlikely, given how little time was left before the release), and then later followed it up with that they cannot guarantee gluten free status of their products because of suppliers, etc. (Oreos are not the first product they gave me the run-around on before the ‘we don’t guarantee anything about being gluten free’ line came up.)

    I’m close to getting my blog back online, and their full reply will be in my post about these Oreos.

  13. Being a very sensitive Celiac, I don’t recommend anyone who is gluten sensitive to eat the new GF Oreos….I was so excited to try them, so I ate one and I was sick for a week….no thanks, I’ll stick with the real GF sandwich cookie knock offs! #celiacforlife #Nogluten

  14. I have Celiac and a possible wheat allergy. My husband insisted on buying some GF Oreos even though I am extremely happy with the Glutino sandwich cookies. I had two this morning and the flavor is not as good as the Glutino’s. I am so sick, not only have I had to make multiple trips to bathroom but I am in gut-wrenching pain. Literally like someone is taking a blowtorch to my stomach. GF Oreo’s – Just don’t, please.

  15. Bought these cause I missed cookies and just saw they existed. gave be a real bad skin reaction. I had eaten nothing new other than these cookies so I’m sure it was them that gave me the reaction. Looking here at people’s comments I guess it makes sense. I can confirm as well that these cookies are definitely not safe for people with gluten problems.

  16. I love that I read the GF Oreo label and noped out because of the oats and canola…canola is equally contaminated and causes extreme gut erosion for me. Lovely. So I used Glutino oreos..oh dang! Probably should have just tried the garbage Nabisco Oreos. Glutino is now owned by ConAgra, another food giant who bought Glutino in 2015, but retooled the company in 2019. In our early days of GF before we had to go on years of healing diets of SCD/GAPS, Glutino was one brand we were ok with. I am in day 2 of full on gluten reaction from eating exactly 7 Glutino chocolate oreo cookies. Oh well, I don’t trust Big Food processed GF food so it’s my fault. I am a very very sensitive Celiac was was sicker 7 years into eating GF than when we started thanks to sloppy food processing and lying food labels.

  17. Found your article here because I’ve suspected a problem with the “gluten free” Oreos ever since I first had them. I’ve been gluten-free for less than a year due to thyroid issues and I can already feel the difference the next day when I’ve been glutened. First few times I had these Oreos thought I was imagining things. Then I was highly suspicious. I didn’t finish the package and figured I had maybe eaten something else without realizing it. Recently I bought some a second time, had 2-3 a couple days in an row and BAAAM. Same result. I found your article when I googled about them. Thx for the helpful explanation about cross contamination. Sad for what that means from my relationship with Cheerios, too. But glad for happier days ahead for my body.

  18. They allow a STEP DOWN process in the testing. Simply put it goes like this:
    They test each lot 3 times.
    If that is “safe” long enough, they reduce it to once per lot.
    If that is “safe” long enough, they reduce it to once per day.
    If that is “safe” long enough, they reduce it to once per week.
    If that is “safe” long enough, they reduce it to once per quarter.

    This does not seem like a decent certification process to me.

    It is described on page 21 of this document:
    Here is an excerpt:
    ” if your plant is assigned to test 3x/lot, and you make 10 lots of certified product
    per day, you would reach the first ‘step’ in four production days, and reduce your testing
    to once per lot. You would then test 20 additional lots over the next two days in order to
    reduce your testing to once per day. You would then test on 20 individual production days
    to reach the next step, and reduce to testing once per week. After 20 additional weeks of
    negative results, you could reduce testing to once per month, and after 20 months you
    could then reduce to one test per quarter.”

    How does the fact that all the lots for a really long time were safe make the next lot safe? Makes no sense to me.

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I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

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