I use to love dinner time as a kid. I’d come home from school wondering what my mom had planned (this is before she got a job when I was 13). If I smelled spaghetti sauce, I was in high heaven. If I smelled liver and onions, I knew it was a night I’d scatter my food around the plate, making it look like I at least ate something.
Looking back, something else strikes me about the family dinners we’d have, especially as I entered my teens. We’d sit. We’d take our time. And we’d laugh. A lot. There was no huge rush to get up as soon as we were done. No computer to get to. No social media to check. It was…nice.
As I got older, the meals together became less and less frequent and not always so fun either, but I’m very thankful I have the memories.
Today…everyone is busy. Everyone is in a rush. But we all still need to eat. And that is where meal delivery services come into play. While I have never personally used one, I understand the appeal of it. No planning. No shopping. No cooking. Minimum cleaning.
But what about those of us with celiac disease? Are there meal subscription plans for us? And if they are gluten-free, does it still mean we can trust them. Well…I did some digging and I reached out to each company that I could find individually (15 in all). Here is the email I sent them…
…and below is what each company told me.
Dude Note: Please read the comments below the post to see people’s experiences with some of these companies. Like anything with celiac, sometimes it can be hit or miss.
We do not offer any gluten-free options.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 0
All righty then! I will give them full credit for honesty and transparency. What’s that? Honesty and transparency? In a company? Yep…they’re out there.
We are 100% gluten-free.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 8
Why an 8 if they’re 100% GF? I originally had them a 10 with an asterisk because they use shared lines, but after receiving some feedback, I dropped their score since I have no idea how they share the lines.
As a healthcare company, we understand the risks present for our celiac and gluten-sensitive customers. Epicured meals are 100% gluten-free — even our pasta and rolls! Our bakers boxes are certified gluten-free, as well as our oats, which are from Gluten Free Harvest, a purity protocol supplier.
Although we are a small company with a shared facility, the clinical integrity of our products means everything to us, and we focus all efforts on top-notch safety protocols. All equipment, surfaces, tools, and appliances are cleaned and sanitized before and after each use, as well as tested for gluten traces by a highly-trained Registered Dietitian. Our gluten-free areas are strictly segregated so that we can continue to maintain a high standard to safely produce gluten-free food.
Disclosing that we are a shared facility is voluntary, and although many gluten-free companies do not disclose this, we believe that transparency is crucial. At the end of the day, you need to feel confident that you can not only trust our food but delight in your dining experience with us.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 9
I wish they went the extra step and used a dedicated facility. I know…I’m a demanding fellow.
Right now EveryPlate doesn’t offer the option of Gluten-Free meals, However our partner Green Chef offers that type of meals.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: ?
Now I need to go find Green Chef in my notes. Oh yeah…Green Chef didn’t respond to me, that’s right (see below). Incomplete! And grounded for two weeks!
Thank you for your question regarding the gluten-free status of Factor’s products. As has always been the case, 100% of our recipes are designed to be gluten-free, meaning that all of our ingredients are all naturally free of gluten. In addition, we have a dedicated kitchen and packaging facility that produces only gluten-free products as well, which further ensures the gluten-free status of all of our products. However, it’s important to note that some of our products may come from vendors who process gluten in their facility. Therefore, there is a slight risk of cross-contamination offsite.
DUDE UPDATE DECEMBER 2021: They’ve changed…and not for the better. Here is what they just told me: “At this time, we cannot guarantee that our meals are gluten-free. Food safety is something that we take seriously and we include allergen declarations on each and every Factor meal. As noted in our Terms and Conditions, we strongly recommend that customers with food allergen sensitivities carefully review individual product packages for the most updated information regarding ingredients and allergen declaration before consuming.”
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL:
I really wanted to give them a 10 for the awesome explanation. I also thought about deducting a point for their logo. What is that?
Instead of doing it right, they offer a complete CYA statement. I’d pass if I were you.
Freshly meals are made in facilities that are certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). Some kitchens do store products or ingredients containing gluten. However, all Freshly meals are prepared in a certified gluten-free safe spot.
All incoming ingredients from vendors are tested/checked for potential cross-contamination and our facility is regularly audited to ensure we continue meeting the requirements for the certification.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 9
Why not a 10? The certification. But that’s a blog post for another day.
DUDE UPDATE JULY 23, 2021: I have been informed by several people that Freshly will start adding non-gf items soon. So now I have no idea what confidence I have in them…if any. Will they still be GIG Certified? Stay tuned.
DUDE UPDATE September 22, 2021: I have heard from several people who claimed to have gotten sick from Freshly. Buyer beware.
Gobble’s mission from the start has been to create natural, healthy foods with clean labels that our members can understand, enjoy, and feel good about feeding their families. Our Culinary Team relies on natural preservatives such as salt, oils, or acids.
To minimize the risk of cross-contamination, we have implemented a hygiene program that follows those steps: proper handwashing, hand care, and glove use. We also use separate equipment, clean and sanitize all work surfaces.
I hope this information is helpful and that you appreciate our commitment to high-quality ingredients and transparency around our food. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can answer any other questions you may have, or if you ever have a question about a particular dinner kit or ingredient.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 8
Now that’s what I’m talking about!
I contacted them multiple times but they did not respond. I’ll never understand the lack of customer service for some companies. Green Chef says they are “all about eating and living green” and a lot of their items are labeled gluten-free but you and I know that doesn’t necessarily mean diddly.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: ?
They get an incomplete. And are grounded for three weeks.
While HelloFresh has a variety of meal choices each week, we do not offer gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free meals. We leave it to our customers to review the recipes each week and determine which ones best meet their dietary needs.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 2
Fair enough explanation.
Hello, thanks for reaching out about this! We will have at least 3 meals weekly that are wheat-free. If you’d like to take a look at them, feel free to visit our menu page. We’ve marked meals that contain wheat with the words ‘Wheat’ beneath the picture.
You can easily leave out ingredients that contain wheat (e.g., sauces) or substitute them if you’re seeing a dish that you’d really like to make but can’t due to an allergy restriction. The list of ingredients will note any ingredients that contain wheat next to that ingredient. Let me know if you have any additional questions about this!
Our ingredients are always packaged using a sanitary approach, so while cross-contamination is unlikely, we can’t guarantee with absolute certainty.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 2
A lot of their items have wheat, so cross-contamination would be a huge concern. Also, do they not know that gluten is in more than just wheat? What about barley, rye, etc?
We do have recipes that do not contain any gluten ingredients. However, since all our boxes are packaged in the same facility, some cross-contamination can occur. On this basis, we cannot ensure that our recipes are completely allergenic. As such, these recipes are tagged on our menu with “no added gluten”.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 4
I so wanted this to be a reggae inspired menu. Martha Stewart doesn’t quite have the same appeal.
Our facilities process wheat, gluten, and other wheat products regularly. While we do have meals that don’t contain gluten, we are unable to guarantee that orders are 100% free of any allergen that is processed in our distribution facilities.
With our upcoming menus, you do absolutely have the option to review the ingredients for each meal in advance. If you were to ever notice a meal included something you cannot have, you can always custom pick your meals. You have the flexibility to do so directly from your profile.
I also can let you know that all of our ingredients are packaged separately. So if your sensitivity is not as severe as avoiding all gluten to the point of not even “processed in a facility” – we can definitely make this work for you.
I am terribly sorry we are unable to accommodate otherwise! Please know I will absolutely pass your concerns along to our team and hopefully this might be a possibility in the future. If you have any further questions at all, be sure to let me know. I am happy to help in any way I can.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 1 (but a serious 10 for the thorough explanation)
God I love good customer service. Honestly folks…it’s not that hard.
We are 100% gluten-free.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 9
They lost one point for not answering my message on Twitter about their food preparation and cross-contamination.
Please note, Sunbasket meals are prepared in a facility that handles wheat, and while the Gluten-Free meal plan follows a gluten-free diet, due to risk of cross-contamination, these gluten-free meals are not suitable for people with severe gluten intolerance.
However, you are free to read more information in our Gluten Free Meal Plan.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 3
These folks seem to get it more than Home Chef, but still a large risk of cross-contamination.
All of our meals are completely gluten-free across all of the meal plans and ingredients. My mother has celiac as well and has tried multiple of my meals, and never had a reaction (she is very gluten sensitive) if that provides any reassurance for you. I was hesitant about having her try them at first just to always be safe, but she never had any bad reactions to them.
I thought the response was a bit odd so I followed up with “Do you use a shared facility and/or shared equipment?” And they said “We are a gluten-free facility so there is no cross contamination!”
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 9
Why not a 10? Something about him being “hesitant” seemed off since they are 100% GF.
At Veestro we take every precaution to ensure that cross contamination of ingredients does not occur in our production facility, but please be aware that our meals are produced in a plant which processes foods containing wheat, soy, nuts and seeds. We strive to prevent cross contamination to the best of our abilities as a dual-purpose commercial kitchen, but we do NOT recommend our products for people with celiac disease or similarly severe allergies. We recommend that consumers with celiac purchase food products from an alternative service that uses a single-purpose, certified gluten free commercial kitchen facility.
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 8
Just a fantastic answer. Looking out for the customer. What a concept. I’ll trust a company like this more than one who slaps a GF label on something without thinking about the celiac community.
Yumble (children’s meals)
We mark any meals on the website that do not include gluten; however, because our kitchen is not gluten free certified, we are unable to guarantee cross-contamination has not occurred, though we do take efforts to avoid it. Depending on the severity of your allergy, we do not advise using our meals without certification. Please let me know if we can help with anything else!
DUDE CONFIDENCE LEVEL: 6
They understand the seriousness of it, which raises my confidence level a bit.
Phew…that’s it…I’m outta here. And for some reason…I’m really hungry now.
35 thoughts on “Which meal delivery services offer gluten-free food? And are they Celiac-Safe?”
This is awesome! I follow a (non-GF) blogger who is very into Blue Apron and everything looks so good, but since they don’t offer GF it was always a non-starter. I honestly didn’t realize there were so many options out there.
While we don’t do a meal delivery service, we do use Cook Smarts for meal planning. For each recipe they offer a regular, GF, Paleo and Vegetarian option (and we often combine the GF/Veggie option – i.e. sometimes the vegetarian version has couscous or other gluten filled grain, but the GF version has brown rice or quinoa, usually easy swaps) And while you get a menu each week, you also have access to all the archives, so if something doesn’t appeal to you it is easy to search for something different. If anyone wants a referral link i can post one.
Thanks Melissa. Will check out Cook Smarts.
I’m really sorry Green Chef didn’t answer you. After a friend invited me to join with a huge discount on my first order (our three meals for two cost me $18!) I stayed with them for two more orders but then discontinued because between my need for gluten-free and my husband’s pickiness about ingredients, it was too hard to find three meals and I was skipping several weeks before I could find a week that had three good choices for us. As a silent Celiac, I can not tell you if the gluten-free meals were “safely“ gluten-free though. I would’ve liked to see their answer to you. Thank you very much for doing this. I may try one or two of the ones that you’ve rated highly that seem pretty celiac safe.
I literally followed up with them multiple times. Just don’t understand some companies.
I, too, have sent inquiries a number of times and . If they were, in fact, certified gluten free I would not purchase product from them because of their customer-lack-of-service. In the Celiac Community, service – answering our questions – is not an option. You want our business, you want us to talk nice about you even if we can’t purchase from you, then answer our dang questions BLUE APRON (and others). OK…that was my rant for the day. Thanks Gluten Dude for all the research.
I’ve always avoided meal delivery services because of concerns that the meals wouldn’t be safe so this is very helpful. Thank you!
Happy to help.
I’ve gotten two Daily Harvest orders and have had no issues whatsoever. The food is really good, too!
What a great investigation! I had no idea you had so many options. I do not. I LOVE the ones that answered so honestly. That’s all I want from people: honest, complete and thorough information. I will assume the responsibility of making the decision.
I’ll take an honest company who understands and tries their best over these behemoth companies that just slap a GF label on it.
I emailed Green Chef about gluten free a few weeks ago and this is what they said in their reply: “Green Chef is the first meal kit company to receive Gluten-Free Certification through the Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service program, with two certified gluten-free menus (Paleo/Carb Conscious and Keto). This certification ensures that every ingredient in those plans contain 10ppm (parts per million) or less of gluten.” I only tried two meals so I can’t say anything else from personal experience though.
Thanks Beth. I’ll reach out to them one more time, showing them this page.
We have been Green Chef customers for I think 2 years now and we really do love them. I believe they are the same company as Freshly now. Their website used to state that they were also certified by GIG as stated above and it seemed pretty heavily advertised. However when they redid their website a few months ago they removed that statement and their faq only mentioned all allergens and potential for cross contamination, not specifically addressing their gluten free options. The recipe cards still mention GIG certification though. However I looked now and they seem to have added it back to their faq and do still mention the GIG certification. https://greenchef.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005069423-What-is-Gluten-Free-Certification. I’m a little concerned that things have changed there, which sucks because we have never had a meal we didn’t absolutely love.
That’s a bummer about Freshly potentially adding in non-gf items. They saved our behinds when we had our kitchen renovation.
My daughter lives with me and is my care giver besides being a trained chef yet she neds a day off too on occasion and we considered a few of these. Because I am gluten sensitive and eat mostly fish, and she eats only chicken, neither of us eats beef or pork, so we gave up – too costly and difficult to find 3 meals a week. We are both doing the 2 meal a day Intermittent diet, eat lots of veggies and the weight comes off. Thank you for doing this very important research- next question to ask FIRST is “do you deliver to this zip code?” (many do not deliver to certain areas).
I too am disappointed that Freshly is considering adding gluten meals. My father-in-law has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 90. He lives in an Independent Living Community that does not serve special diets but WILL serve heat and eat. Being able to order his meals from Freshly has allowed him to stay where he is and still eat GF. We do not want to change his environment if at all possible. Things are not easy at 90 when you have never cooked in your life!
They are still planning to prepare the gf meals in their dedicated gf kitchen. I use Freshly and got an email from them about the addition of the meals containing gluten several days ago. It sounds like the only thing gluten free customers have to worry about is making sure the meals they order are gluten free since the new items will be mixed in with the gfree meals on the menu. If you have any concerns, contact Freshly.
I think there is plenty to worry about. It is very unclear exactly how these gluten free safe spots work, if the same chefs will be working in both kitchens, etc. Cross contamination is extremely easy to do when you are producing large quantities of food. I think people are far too trusting of Freshly’s claims about this, and frankly I don’t really trust the gluten intolerance group (the organization that certifies their hotspots). They’ve really declined in vigilance and quality in the past few years. When companies that start out servicing and focusing on celiac customers, and they shift, we should push back. We don’t have to just sheepishly accept it. I for one am ending my Freshly service. I encourage other celiacs to do the same. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for better service from companies we are trusting to help us maintain our gluten free diets.
Also I would actively encourage celiac patients who remain on freshly to regularly test their meals if they have the means and publicly post results. I think we need to really take aggressive action to keep companies honest if they are going to claim gluten free status. I think we all remember the days when like 10 percent or more of the ‘gluten free’ food in the grocery store had gluten in it.
I have been using Freshly for about a month and have been pleased. I got an email a few days ago stating they will be adding meals with gluten but they said they will continue to prepare all gluten free meals in their dedicated gluten free kitchen. So, it sounds like there will be separate facilities. I plan to email them to get more information, however.
I have also been using another company called Epicured. Their food is tastier than Freshly. In fact it is created by a Michelin star chef and nutritionists. I believe it’s all low FODMAP (or most items are) too. They do not have a dedicated gf kitchen but you can read about the precautions they take on their site or contact them with any concerns. I have not had any issues though and I am very sensitive to gluten.
I get my gluten free meals from Trifecta, all of their food plans are gluten free and organic and are prepared in a gluten free facility.
Just a couple I’ve tried missing from the list: Metabolic Meals and Epicured. Both let you choose what meals you want and how many. I had no problems with either than the cost.
I used to get gf meals from Plated. I was so sad when they were bought by Albertsons and no longer had gf labeling and processes. We still use some of their recipe cards.
Freshly is opening a manufacturing facility right by my house. I’m tempted to walk over there and find out what’s up with them adding some non gluten free options!
From Factor_ FAQ page “Please note, our meals are produced in a facility that also processes wheat, milk, soy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, and shellfish.”
Has anyone tried or gotten information on Trifecta? All meals are supposed to be made in a gluten free kitchen. I have really been wanting to try a meal service for convenience, since I rarely eat out because I’m so sensitive, but I want to know that it’s definitely safe from cross-contamination!
Freshly is now switching to include meals that contain gluten. They are still apparently certified, and say they prepare foods in separate kitchens in ‘gluten free safe spots’. Personally I don’t think this is adequate. I believe Freshly is not particularly diligent in many other respects, so I can easily imagine them cutting corners that will lead to problems for celiac patients. I intend to end my Freshly account now that they are preparing and storing food with gluten ingredients. It is a shame. Celiac options appear, then dwindle as usual. We need more companies devoted entirely to serving celiac patients. But let’s face it, the US is pretty bad for celiac people.
What about Epicured? They claim to be the top gluten free meal kit. We haven’t tried them yet as hubby is not sure he wants to jump in with a meal kit.
I have used Hungryroot for a few years now, I have been very happy with the results. I do have Celiac disease.
Pete’s Paleo is 100% gluten free. They also have a choice for AIP.
I’ve been ordering from Freshly for about a month now and just canceled my subscription. I did become ill after a few selections I tried and their window to select meals for the next week is so small, I missed it and wound up with meals we tried and didn’t like/made me ill and didn’t want again. Although you can also sort selections by sodium content, options really weren’t low enough for my mom with congestive heart failure. I’m hoping another listed above can help me get through the next few rough months.
I’d bring that score down for Daily Harvest. They share their facilities where wheat and soy are processed. On two seperate occasions, I had horrible outbreaks from eating their food. I purchased a pretty huge haul of food for them as I was trying to eat clean and only exclusively eat Daily Harvest. I would NOT recommend their foods to anyone who has severe celiac disease.
That stinks Jana…sorry. I’ll add a note to it.
I have celiac disease and have been using SunBasket for a few years now, with no problems. I make it 2-3 times a week, and my antibody levels are always good when tested. I enjoy their food!
After reading that I got hungry too. thanks for the help11