Domino’s Pizza is going nationwide with it’s gluten-free crust today! Big news in the gluten free world right?
Sure, it is perfect for some eating gluten-free by choice or as a fad diet…really those are the only folks who may not see a reaction. Bottom line is if you have celiac you probably want to stay away, and gluten sensitive folks may want to do all their research before diving in — but of course, that’s your choice.
Domino’s Tries Gluten Free
Domino’s did make a wise decision early on by consulting with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’s GREAT Kitchens program, where it received an Amber designation. But right out of the gate Domino’s is already having to explain why it is not celiac safe in a video on Domino’s website and on YouTube. In the video you’ll see the disclaimer from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness that says the NFCA “supports the availability of Domino’s Gluten Free Crust but CANNOT recommend the pizza for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivity should exercise judgement in consuming this pizza.” Also in an article in today’s USAToday, it is noted that the gluten free pizzas will share an oven with regular pizza.
I watched the video in its entirety, it appears they’ll be sharing ingredients for all products which makes cross contamination inevitable. But Domino’s is pretty clear in their statements, video and website FAQ, they cannot guarantee a safe, entirely gluten-free pizza.
The FAQ also responds to the question of why they just don’t have a separate area for gluten-free pizza preparation to make it safer. The answer states,
“Domino’s worked closely with the NFCA and recognizes that with our current operational model we cannot, beyond all doubt, provide the environment needed to assure those with celiac disease that the whole pizza is 100 percent gluten free. Domino’s does not want to set unrealistic expectations of how the Gluten Free Crust is handled in our stores. Domino’s would rather be honest and transparent about this product and avoid risking a customer ordering this product under false pretenses….”
So far folks on The Savvy Celiac Facebook page are concerned about Domino’s cross contamination, including one comment from Staci, “Makes me nervous too…using the same ovens…do they put them on trays or right on the oven racks? I will need a lot more information before I would try this…too bad, I got my hopes up there for a minute.”
In the USAToday article, Domino’s CMO Russell Weiner says “We are the first national pizza delivery chain to offer this.” But they may not be the last. While this offering may be huge for gluten free food awareness, it wouldn’t surprise me if another major chain will decide to do it right, with a separate cooking area, ingredients and oven — and trump Domino’s. Plus if you look around locally, you may be able to find other pizza chains that are more celiac friendly in your area. Right in the Twin Cities, Pizza Luce is one of the best and is promoted on NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens page.
However, disappointing this may be for celiacs, I know I appreciate knowing up-front the potential for cross contamination. I hope Domino’s sees quickly that they should do what they can to take the pizza one step further to make it safer for those with celiac disease. My guess is they’ll hear from a lot of folks today complaining that they can’t eat the gluten-free pizza.