Find out what menu items from Subway do not contain gluten and what you need to know about their gluten-free bread.
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Subway is a popular sandwich chain restaurant. So many people love it, because it’s easy to customize your order and get whatever bread, meat, cheese, and condiments you want. For many folks, it’s a no-brainer lunch option, especially if there’s one close to where you work.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you’ve probably heard that Subway offers gluten-free bread. You may be curious about whether or not it’s safe to enjoy a gluten-free sandwich from this sandwich shop when there’s so much bread with gluten around.
In this post, we’re going to dive into the Subway menu and discuss how this chain restaurant handles gluten-free orders, as well as what you need to know about their gluten-free bread.
We’ll also go over some basics on gluten, where you’ll find gluten in many different foods, and most importantly where gluten is often hidden in restaurants and other sandwich shops.
Let’s talk Subway!
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
Gluten is naturally occurring, and therefore is impossible to strip away from the grain. If a grain naturally has gluten in it, there’s no way to make that food gluten-free.
Where can you find gluten in food?
Gluten can be found in the form of wheat and grain products, like bread or flour in the more obvious places.
You can also find gluten as a binding ingredient, an ingredient added for texture like to make a food more crispy, or as a thickening agent.
Where can you find gluten in restaurants?
Depending on the restaurant you’re visiting, you may find gluten in a variety of places.
At fast food restaurants, there will be gluten in sandwich bread, hamburger buns, the breading of crispy chicken sandwiches or chicken nuggets, some French fries, salad dressings, croutons on salad, and chili or soup options.
At other restaurants, you’ll find gluten in flour in sauces, in pizza or other pastry dough, pasta, and as a thickener in some soups.
Where gluten is found in the menu items will vary from restaurant to restaurant. That’s why it’s always a good idea to review menus from home, and see if you can find any allergen information before you get to the restaurant itself.
Being able to review nutritional information and allergen statements before visiting a fast food restaurant can be the difference between ordering something that you think is safe for your gluten-free diet and getting sick.
Being knowledgeable about what specific menu items you’ll be able to eat without any worries of later reactions is crucial to sticking with your gluten-free diet.
Subway allergen statement
On the Subway FAQ page, the company answers the question “Does Subway offer gluten-free options?” to which they reply:
“A six-inch gluten-free bread option is available in select restaurants. Please refer to your local Subway® restaurant for availability. Please note, no other bread, flatbread, or wrap option is gluten-free.
For a list of products that contain gluten or are gluten-free, please visit our nutrition page. Gluten-free bread is made in a gluten-free facility, but other menu items/ingredients contain gluten and are prepared on shared equipment. Subway® cannot guarantee items are 100% gluten-free.”
Subway offers an Allergen Guide PDF to download on the Nutrition & Allergies page on their website.
This Allergen Guide outlines the menu options ingredients that are used to make sandwiches at their restaurants. In this list, you can see which foods have egg, fish, milk/lactose, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, soybeans, tree nuts, wheat & gluten containing ingredients, sulfites, and added nitrites/nitrates.
The information in this guide is helpful to determine which menu options will work best for you and your dietary needs.
Does Subway have gluten-free bread?
Some Subway restaurants offer gluten-free bread, but not all. Check with your local Subway before visiting to make sure they have a gluten-free bread option for you.
The ingredients listed in the Gluten-free Bread from Subway according to their US Product Ingredient Guide (updated in July 2022) are:
“Egg whites, cornstarch, modified cornstarch, tapioca starch, palm oil, sugar, distilled monoglycerides, contains less than 2% of the following: yeast, rice bran and germ, salt, natural flavor, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), pectin, xanthan gum, carbohydrate gum, guar gum, enzyme. Contains: Eggs.”
Read on: Does Subway have gluten-free bread?
What you need to know about the gluten-free bread at Subway
According to the Allergen Guide from Subway’s website, their gluten-free bread is considered “gluten-free” and contains less than 20ppm of gluten as tested. The bread in its container is considered gluten-free, as it is packaged and sealed.
That said, once the package is opened, there are no guarantees that this product will be gluten-free as there is gluten in all Subway restaurants and there is a chance for cross contamination.
This is what their Allergen Guide states about their gluten-free bread:
“The Gluten-Free bread is manufactured in a Gluten-Free facility. However, other menu items and ingredients in our restaurants contain gluten and are prepared on shared equipment, so we cannot guarantee that our menu items are 100% gluten-free.”
What to know about cross contamination at restaurants
Most fast food and carryout restaurants are not considered gluten-free establishments so it’s useful to keep this in mind when making decisions about where to go and what to order.
It’s important to know that even if a fast food restaurant claims that their menu items do not contain gluten, that the possibility and probability of gluten in their products is going to be high if there is even one menu item with gluten available.
Depending on your level of sensitivity to gluten, this can be make or break information for you.
If you are Celiac and are allergic to trace amounts of gluten, you’ll likely want to avoid most fast food restaurants that offer any bread products or French fries that are cooked in a shared fryer with other gluten-containing ingredients.
If you are not sensitive to gluten at the trace level and have adverse reactions to gluten due to a food intolerance, you may decide that these trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination are worth risking for a quick, easy, and convenient food option.
Being aware of how you have reacted to gluten in your diet in the past and how much gluten it takes for your body to react is useful knowledge when it comes to situations like these.
Use your best judgment about what you know about your body, how you react to gluten, and what the risks are for you specifically.
Subway Gluten-free Menu Items
Though Subway can’t guarantee that anything in their restaurant is truly gluten-free due to the possibility of cross contamination, there are some menu items that have no gluten or wheat ingredients.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, be sure to tell the people making your sandwich and they may use a different knife and cutting board for preparing your sandwich if requested.
The information gathered here is from the U.S. Allergy and Sensitivity Information PDF linked from the Subway website, updated in July 2022.
Breads & Wraps
- Gluten-Free Bread (as packaged)
Meat, Poultry, Seafood & Eggs
- Bacon Strips
- Chicken Patty, Oven Roasted
- Chicken, Grilled
- Cold Cut Combo Meats
- Egg Omelet Patty
- Genoa Salami
- Ham (Black Forest)
- Italian BMT Meats (ham, pepperoni, salami)
- Rotisserie-Style Chicken
- Spicy Italian Meats (pepperoni, salami)
- Tuna Salad
- Turkey Breast, Oven Roasted
Local/Regional Meats and Proteins
- Chicken, Grilled (with Buffalo sauce)
- Eggs, Cage-Free
- Veggie Patty
- American, Processed
- BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella
- Monterey Cheese Blend, Shredded
- Mozzarella, Shredded
Condiments & Dressings
- Buffalo Sauce
- Caesar Sauce
- Chipotle Southwest Sauce
- Honey Mustard Sauce
- Mayonnaise, Light
- Mayonnaise, Regular
- Mustard (Yellow)
- MVP Parmesan Vinaigrette
- Peppercorn Ranch Sauce
- Ranch Sauce
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Sweet Onion Sauce (Contains Poppy Seeds)
Local/Regional Condiments and Dressings
- Creamy Sriracha
- Banana Peppers
- Black Olives
- Green Peppers
- Jalapeno Pepper Slices
- Smashed Avocado
- Broccoli & Cheddar
Cookies & Desserts
Local/Regional Cookies and Desserts
- Brownie, Gluten-Free
Are Subway wraps gluten-free?
Subway wraps are not considered a gluten-free option by the company. They contain wheat ingredients, making them not a good choice for those who avoid gluten.
If you love to visit Subway for your lunch break to get a quick sandwich, I hope this information on their gluten-free options has been helpful for you.
Subway’s bread is considered gluten-free as it is packaged and sealed. The areas you’ll need to worry about while sticking with a gluten-free diet are choosing ingredients for your sandwich that are gluten-free and the risk of cross contamination with other gluten ingredients in the preparation areas.
Choose ingredients from this list and tell your sandwich maker that you need a gluten-free option. You may need to request separate utensils and cutting boards are used to prepare your sandwich.
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More Gluten-free Restaurant Menu Items
If you’re looking at other popular restaurants and wondering what gluten-free menu items they offer, be sure to check out my Gluten-free Restaurant Guide. I’ve outlined all the gluten-free options from 45+ popular restaurants and fast food chains.
- Gluten-free Fast Food: Options from Major Chains
- Gluten and Dairy-free Diet: 4 Restaurant Tips
- Applebee’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Arby’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Blaze Pizza Gluten-free Menu Items
- Boston Market Gluten-free Menu Items
- Buffalo Wild Wings Gluten-free Menu Items
- Burger King Gluten-free Menu Items
- California Pizza Kitchen Gluten-free Menu Items
- Cheesecake Factory Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chick-Fil-A Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chilis Gluten-free Menu Items
- Chipotle Gluten-free Menu Items
- Cracker Barrel Gluten-free Menu Items
- Crumbl Cookies Gluten-free Menu Items
- Culver’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Denny’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Domino’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Dunkin Donuts Gluten-free Menu Items
- Einstein Bros Bagels Gluten-free Menu Items
- Firehouse Subs Gluten-free Menu Items
- First Watch Gluten-free Menu Items
- Five Guys Gluten-free Menu Items
- IHOP Gluten-free Menu Items
- Jack In The Box Gluten-free Menu Items
- Jimmy John’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- KFC Gluten-free Menu Items
- Little Caesar’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Longhorn Steakhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- McDonald’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- MOD Pizza Gluten-free Menu Items
- Nothing Bundt Cakes Gluten-free Menu Items
- Olive Garden Gluten-free Menu Items
- Outback Steakhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- Panda Express Gluten-free Menu Items
- Panera Gluten-free Menu Items
- Papa Johns Gluten-free Menu Items
- Papa Murphy’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- P.F. Chang’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Pizza Hut Gluten-free Menu Items
- Qdoba Gluten-free Menu Items
- Red Lobster Gluten-free Menu Items
- Red Robin Gluten-free Menu Items
- Ruby Tuesday Gluten-free Menu Items
- Shake Shack Gluten-free Menu Items
- Smashburger Gluten-free Menu Items
- Sonic Gluten-free Menu Items
- Starbucks Gluten-free Menu Items
- Subway Gluten-free Menu Items
- Taco Bell Gluten-free Menu Items
- Texas Roadhouse Gluten-free Menu Items
- Wendy’s Gluten-free Menu Items
- Whataburger Gluten-free Menu Items
- Wingstop Gluten-free Menu Items
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