Does Spam have Gluten? What You Need To Know

is spam gluten free

The well-known canned meat Spam is owned by Hormel Foods and is considered gluten-free meat and has a gluten-free label.

But since they process this meat in a facility that is not a dedicated gluten-free facility specifically designed to process gluten-free products, cross-contamination is possible on shared equipment or during manufacturing.

Keep reading this article if you enjoy eating Spam or consider it your favorite meat because we’ll clarify every gluten-related details you need to know about it.

As those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or gluten-related medical conditions, we must be cautious about what goes into our mouths to maintain our gluten-free diet.

So, we’re going to talk about the basics of Spam, spam ingredient list, spam nutrition label, and answer in detail the question, is Spam gluten-free?

What Is Spam Made Of (Original Spam Ingredient List)


Knowing that SPAM is not the preservative-filled mystery meat might probably come as a pleasant surprise because SPAM only has six ingredients.

And they are:

  •     Pork and Ham
  •     Salt
  •     Water
  •     Modified Potato Starch
  •     Sugar
  •     Sodium Nitrate

Spam Nutrition Label

The classic spam nutritional label listed the calories.

  •  Nutrition Facts (Serving Size 2 Tbsp)
  • Calories 180
  • Total Fat 16g Daily Value21%
  • Saturated Fat 6g 30%
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 40mg 13%
  • Sodium 790mg 34%
  • Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g
  • Total Sugars 1g 2%
  • Includes 1g Added Sugars
  • Protein 7g 0%
  • Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
  • Calcium 26mg 0%
  •  Iron 0mg 2%
  • Potassium 94mg 2%

Meat (Pork and Ham)

Typically made from pork, spam is a processed meat product; however, turkey and chicken spam are also made available in their other products.

The main ingredient in the original spam is the fully cooked spam Pork and ham meat, which is why it has that strong and distinct flavor.

Modified Potato Starch

A versatile food additive called potato starch is a frequently used thickener that enhances the texture of foods like puddings, sauces, and baked goods.

On the other hand, potato starch that has undergone some modification is known as modified starch.

Unlike popular belief, this does not imply that the starch has undergone complete genetic modification.

But instead, using heat or a high pressure means it is roasted or cooked to increase its suitability for more extended storage, improves its resistance to extreme temperatures, and makes it more suitable for various applications.

In addition, as we all know, modified Potato Starch is gluten-free.

So, patients with celiac and other gluten-related diseases should feel safe consuming modified potato starch.

Sodium Nitrate

The sodium nitrite, which is “a preservative that helps retain freshness,” is the only ingredient in the above list of ingredients for spam that might cause some pause.

Sodium nitrite is a versatile food additive that gives meats their distinctive color and flavor while preventing bacteria load and the production of toxins.

Additionally, since sodium nitrite is a common ingredient in gluten-free foods and is free of gluten, patients diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and other conditions linked to gluten should be able to take it without fear.

Spam’s History

spam ham and pork

The canned lunch meat product SPAM first appeared on store shelves in 1937.

The Hormel Foods company developed it in Austin, Minnesota.

As the Great Depression ended, SPAM helped meet the massive demand for low-cost meat products.

Spam is a type of processed ham made from pork.

It is made up of ground pork and cured ham, along with a few other essential ingredients.

It tastes like salty deli meat, specifically ham, and comes in a distinctive square and circular metal can.

Because it has already been prepared, you can eat it right away.

You can garnish it to your taste using a golden brown onion and still achieve tasty meat that has no gluten ingredients and is also dairy free.

You can also try making your gluten-free spam musubi which is fairly simple because all you need is gluten-free soy sauce!

The Spam varieties

spam varieties

There are numerous flavors and options available for spam.

Here below is the current Spam menu as listed on the company’s website.

  • The Spam Black Pepper
  • The Spam Lite
  • The Spam Classic
  • The Spam Less Sodium
  • The Spam Oven Roasted Turkey
  • The Spam with Real Hormel Bacon
  • The Spam Hickory Smoke
  • The Spam Hot and Spicy
  • The Spam Teriyaki
  • The Spam Jalapeno
  • The Spam Tocino
  • The Spam with Portuguese Sausage Seasoning
  • The Spam Single Classic
  • The Spam Single Lite

Spam Gluten Free varieties

spam meat

From their list of allergens, these are the gluten-free Spam varieties:

  •     Spam Black Pepper
  •     Spam Classic
  •     Spam Hot and Spicy
  •     Spam Less Sodium
  •     Spam Lite
  •     Spam Jalapeño
  •     Spam Oven Roasted Turkey
  •     Spam Single Classic
  •     Spam Single Lite
  •     Spam Tocino
  •     Spam With Real Hormel Bacon

Additional information You Should Know About Spam

eat spam

Spam Fat

While Spam may be a convenient and affordable source of protein, it is also very fatty.

About 16 grams of fat, primarily unhealthy saturated fat, are present in a three-ounce serving of Spam.

That is more than half of the adult daily recommended intake.

Spam Additives

Most people associate Spam with low-quality, sodium-rich processed meat.

But did you know that there are several additives in Spam as well?

Sugar, nitrates, and Monosodium glutamate (MSG) are a few examples of these additives.

Although the quantity of each additive varies depending on the particular recipe, if not checkmated, they can also lead to other health issues.

Vitamins or Minerals

From the above nutritional fact, you can see that spam lacks essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Spam Sodium

Many people are unaware that spam contains a significant amount of sodium, although most know that overeating salt can be unhealthy for your health.

Two servings of spam can have more than 1,600 milligrams of sodium, which is more than half the daily limit for adults.

So always ensure you eat moderately because this excessive sodium content may factor in high blood pressure and an elevated risk of heart disease.


Although it undergoes a lot of processing and contains a lot of sodium, Spam is gluten-free and is safe for consumption by people who follow a gluten-free diet.

You can fully enjoy most Spam products if you have food allergies, gluten intolerance, or gluten sensitivity, but keep in mind that even though the products are marked as gluten-free, there may still be a chance hidden gluten because of cross-contamination.