Gluten-free pizza photo courtesy of Domino's Pizza

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.

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6 Responses to “Domino’s Pizza’s Gluten Free Crust; Who is it For?”

  1. For those of your fans from the Boston area, Stonehearth Kitchen http://www.metroimpact.net/downloads/shp/menus/Gluten_Free–Stone_Hearth_Pizza.pdf does it right, from separate toppings and utensils to using only rice flour for all pizzas during prep. I’m not GF, but it is quite good.

  2. My thoughts exactly! Thanks for writing this. I shared on Facebook.

  3. Dang. A bunch of fad-followers.

  4. I am deeply disappointed that Domino’s has chosen to go with a “kinda” gluten-free pizza. There is no such thing as an almost-safe amount of gluten, even for folks who are only sensitive and don’t have full-blown celiacs.

    Just because there isn’t enough gluten in it to trigger a reaction doesn’t mean it’s not doing harm. Gliadin (the protein found in gluten that’s really the issue) can cause long-term damage to the guts and autoimmune system of people who are gluten-sensitive. That’s the insidious part of gluten allergies – it can be making you sick while you feel just fine.

    Sorry, but if you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

  5. Because Domino’s has decided to serve gluten contaminated gluten free pizzas, I assume to make a profit at the deadly risk to people with celiac, I will never again purchase their products. That means ever. Including anyone I can talk out going there.

  6. There is a danger in being partial gluten free. While we appreciate the company’s responding to gf, it actually creates dilemmas for young adults especially, that are celiac or gluten intolerance. I have a young boy, who sees GF, and can’t wait to try it. It likes, putting a laxative in a piece of candy, and still call it Candy. Yikes, would appreciate company’s dontating money to research or training staff before launching a GF, contaminated pizza.

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