8 Surprising Foods That Contain Gluten

To highlight Coeliac Awareness Week (May 8th - May 15th), we’ve found out what every day, household ingredients aren’t gluten-free.

From pickles to ice cream, we’ve discovered what surprising foods are sources of hidden gluten.  

is there gluten in chocolate?


overnight oats

On their own, oats are naturally gluten-free but during the milling process, cross-contamination with wheat can happen.

We know how popular oats have become in recent years with thanks to a delicious array of recipes such as over-night oats and fruity breakfast smoothie recipes, but remember not to undo all your good work by using gluten-heavy oats.

Avoid adverse reactions by purchasing oats which are clearly labelled as being gluten-free.


pickles in a jar

While the pickles themselves don’t contain gluten, the pickling process often involves malt-vinegar which contains barley. With BBQ season fast approaching, make sure to avoid adding pickles to your delicious burger.


liquorice sweets

Maybe not everyone’s sweet-of-choice, but it’s important to note that liquorice is made with wheat flour and is unsuitable for people with gluten intolerances. For fans of this sweet or sometimes salty treat, delicious gluten-free liquorice alternatives are available.

Liquorice root tea is gluten-free and is known for its soothing and healing properties, especially in relation to the digestion system and is a great tummy-taming option to have in the cupboard.

Soy Sauce

soy sauce

Made using fermented wheat, soy sauce is one of the many staple condiments and sauces we have in our kitchen cupboard that contains gluten. But fret not, there’s no need to scrap any of your favourite stir-fry recipes.  

Tamari sauce is a great alternative to soy sauce and is usually produced with little to no gluten. However, it’s best to double check the label for any gluten-containing ingredients.



Typically, between Monday and Friday we’re extremely diligent with our diets. However, slip-ups can happen at the weekend when temptation to indulge in non-coeliac friendly beverages arises.

The most obvious drink to avoid is, of course, beer but there are great gluten-free beers available like Bru Gluten Free Irish Lager and Daura Damm Gluten-Free Beer.

Tequila, rum, wine and potato vodka are all naturally gluten-free and should be your drink-of-choice on night’s out. While not all whiskeys are the same, Jameson’s Irish Whiskey is a gluten-free option for any whiskey connoisseur, as allergens are removed during the distillation process.



Unbeknown to many coeliac sufferers, couscous is made from durum-wheat and is a completely unsuitable food for people with gluten sensitivity or intolerances. A favourite ingredient in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, the rice-like grain often pops-up in salads and stews. Unless eating in a gluten-free restaurant, always ask your server if the couscous is coeliac-friendly

When out shopping, only purchase grains which have been clearly labelled gluten-free. Alternatively, try replacing couscous with the naturally gluten-free quinoa. Packed full of protein and anti-oxidants quinoa is a great nutritious addition to any diet.


chocolate bars

For those of who have a sweet tooth and coeliac disease, the news that certain chocolates are off limits can be heart-breaking to hear. Although our favourite treat doesn’t contain gluten in itself, the risk comes from cross-contamination with wheat, barley or rye during processing. 

When shopping for your favourite cocoa-treats, pay careful attention to the labels and in particular note which brands are off-limits. Certain chocolate brands, like Cadbury’s, can contain traces of gluten. Chocolates which include caramel or malt should be avoided as they can cause reactions in people with gluten sensitivity.  

When doing your shopping why not pick up some delicious gluten-free alternatives like Tesco Finest* Free From Belgian Chocolate Brownies

Ice Cream

gelato ice cream

With summer upon us, there’s no better time to indulge in your favourite ice-cream, but people with gluten intolerances need to be careful with the types of flavours they choose.

Avoid flavours like cookie dough, cookies and cream or cheesecake as these, unless otherwise labelled, often contain gluten.

This summer, be sure to keep a packet of Tesco Free From Strawberry and Vanilla Cones in the freezer – the perfect gluten-free ice-cream treat.  

Check out all the great gluten-free products in Tesco's Free From Range