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Home | Blog | My reaction to Dominos Gluten-Free P . . .

My reaction to Domino's Gluten-Free Pizza

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May 8, 2012

I love the gluten-free community. It's been my home since 1998. As someone born with severe food allergies and intolerances, it delighted me to find such a welcoming community of folks who understood what it meant to live on a restricted diet. I never looked back.

Our community's safety was the first thing that popped to mind when I heard about Domino's new "gluten-free" pizza crust. See, here's the deal: They state that the crust isn't safe for celiacs. Why? Because of how they handle the pizza.

While other chains take care to avoid--as much as possible--cross contact, Domino's decided to use shared pizza sauce, toppings, and kitchen tools. (Watch the video. I feel they make light of the cross-contact issue. Like, "Oh! Golly gee. If you are one of those "pesky" celiac folks who worry about cross contact, don't eat our pizza. But for you "cool folks, have a slice!" As for the part in the video about Domino's being honest? Don't get me started.)

As a member of the gluten-free community, this annoys me to no end. As gluten-free eaters, we often work hard to explain the diet to others. For me, this means NOT eating out much. When I do, I plan in advance and select a restaurant that offers a safe gluten-free menu.  I never, ever just show up at a restaurant and expect them to understand how to prepare a gluten-free meal. When I travel, like most of you, I bring snacks or I simply do without. And I'm okay with this.

What I'm not ok with is a company that offers "gluten-free" pizza but doesn't take the celiac community into account---beyond issuing a statement to cover their a&%. I'd rather they not offer anything! Because, I imagine, someone with celiac disease who is unaware of the disclaimer or someone newly diagnosed with celiac might think, "Oh! Gluten-free pizza! I can eat that! YES!". (And, yes, I know they plan to put the disclaimer on the box. But I don't think people will really understand how much wheat their "gluten-free" pizza will come in contact with.)

All of this undermines restaurants that do make a "shared space" disclaimer but work really hard to prevent cross-contact. For chains, I'm thinking of Pizza Uno, PF Chang's, Outback, and Carrabba's. 

I'm a member of the on-line gluten-free support group on Delphi. (And if you aren't a member of this group, you should be. It's a fantastic group.) They have a rule about posting restaurant experiences. It's simple. Folks must include, "Eating out is always risky" in their posts. And that's true! But risky is one thing. Downright dangerous is another thing.

It seems that Domino's created a pizza for folks who elect to eat gluten-free but don't have celiac disease. It's confusing, upsetting, and makes it harder for the gluten-free community to find safe food that's labeled "gluten-free." 

What do you think about this? 

Elizabeth Barbone

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