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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Domino's Pizza Now Offers "Almost" Gluten-Free Pizza (So Be Careful!)

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Photo: CC--janetmck

    I have a big issue with what I believe to be a misleading headline in a recent joint press release by Domino's Pizza and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)...here is the headline:

    "Domino’s Pizza Becomes First National Pizza Delivery Chain to Offer Gluten Free Crust"

    Photo: CC--janetmckWhen you read the release further, starting at the 5th paragraph, which many people will never get to, it says:

    "While Domino’s new Gluten Free Crust is appropriate for those with mild gluten sensitivity, Domino’s and the NFCA do not recommend it for those with celiac disease. Domino’s and the NFCA found that while the crust is certified as gluten free, current store operations at Domino’s cannot guarantee that each handcrafted pizza will be completely free from gluten."

    So my question is this: How can the NFCA, a national organization dedicated to supporting celiacs, actually get behind this? Domino's is obviously a big corporation that has decided it wants to cash in and profit on the new gluten-free gold rush, but they cleary don't want to spend the money that it would take to make their pizzas truely gluten-free, and safe for celiacs.

    The Designations area of the NFCA's web site begins with: "Restaurants that complete GREAT Kitchens earn a designation based on their ability to meet gluten-free needs and avoid cross-contamination with gluten."  Just below this it describes their "Green Designation" and its "Amber Designation," and describes its Amber Designation as follows: "This level requires ingredient verification and basic training of wait staff and managers. Kitchen practices may vary with this designation, level one of the tier system, meaning those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should ask questions and exercise judgment when dining at an establishment with an Amber Designation. Domino's has earned this designation."  So how has Domino's met "gluten-free needs and avoid cross-contamination with gluten"?

    Also, I think any celiac who watches the video Domino's made for this release will find it a bit scary...the same ovens, pizza scoopers, topping areas, etc., as where they make their regular gluten pizzas.

    I would exclude Domino's as an advertiser on Celiac.com based on this release.

    Some might think that the NFCA has sold out here. I invite them to respond using the comment field below, and I invite you to respond.

     

     

    Here is the original press release:

    ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 7, 2012 – Domino's Pizza is responding to the needs of choice consumers, today launching a Gluten Free Crust available in all of its nearly 5,000 U.S. stores and becoming the first national pizza delivery chain to offer such a product.

    Domino’s Pizza (NYSE: DPZ) consulted with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to ensure its products and team member training meet the standards of the foundation’s GREAT Kitchens Amber Designation. NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens is an official credentialing program that has expanded to include restaurants offering gluten free products with varying kitchen practices, therefore suitable for those with gluten sensitivity under the Amber Designation.

    Domino’s new Gluten Free Crust provides a great-tasting option for consumers who previously could not enjoy pizza from the recognized world leader in pizza delivery because of sensitivity to gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

    “Many of our customers have asked for a gluten free crust, and Domino’s is excited to offer a product to customers with mild gluten sensitivity – as well as partner with the NFCA, which has been instrumental to our learning more about how to take this step,” said J. Patrick Doyle, Domino’s Pizza president and CEO. “The prevalence of gluten sensitivity has become a real issue with significant impact on consumer choice, and we want to be a part of the solution. Now, the whole group can enjoy Domino’s with the addition of our new Gluten Free Crust.”

    While Domino’s new Gluten Free Crust is appropriate for those with mild gluten sensitivity, Domino’s and the NFCA do not recommend it for those with celiac disease. Domino’s and the NFCA found that while the crust is certified as gluten free, current store operations at Domino’s cannot guarantee that each handcrafted pizza will be completely free from gluten.

    “The NFCA is thrilled that Domino’s Pizza has developed a product that will improve the quality of life for many of the estimated 18 million Americans who are gluten sensitive,” said Alice Bast, NFCA founder and president. “Not only is Domino’s Gluten Free Crust a huge win for much of the gluten free community who can now get pizza delivered to their door, it’s also delicious. Customers aren’t going to believe they’re eating a pizza made on a gluten free crust when they try it. And the variety of fresh toppings that are available is a giant leap ahead.”

    In an effort to remain open and informative about Domino’s Gluten Free Crust, Domino’s has created a video on YouTube that allows customers to decide whether this product is suitable for their diet, found here: www.youtube.com/user/dominosvids.

    “Offering Domino’s Gluten Free Crust is a big step for us, and we wanted to make sure we were doing it right,” said Doyle. “Domino’s is doing that by partnering with experts at the NFCA and by empowering the gluten sensitive community with the information they need.”

    Domino’s new Gluten Free Crust is available in stores across the U.S. in a small, 10-inch size only, and prices vary by store.

    Domino’s pizza made with a Gluten Free Crust is prepared in a common kitchen with the risk of gluten exposure. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness supports the availability of Domino’s Gluten Free Crust, but cannot recommend the pizza for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivities should exercise judgment in consuming this pizza.

    About Domino’s Pizza®
    Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza is the recognized world leader in pizza delivery.  Domino’s is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “DPZ.”  As of the first quarter of 2012, through its global footprint primarily made up of locally-owned and operated franchises, Domino’s operated a network of 9,810 franchised and Company-owned stores in the United States and over 70 international markets.  During the first quarter of 2012, Domino’s had global retail sales of nearly $1.7 billion, comprised of over $830 million domestically and nearly $855 million internationally.  Domino's Pizza had global retail sales of over $6.9 billion in 2011, comprised of over $3.4 billion domestically and over $3.5 billion internationally. In May 2011, Pizza Today named Domino’s its “Chain of the Year” for the second straight year – making the company a three-time overall winner, and the first pizza delivery company to receive the honor in back-to-back years.  In 2011, Domino’s was ranked #1 in Forbes Magazine’s “Top 20 Franchises for the Money” list.  

     

    Edited by admin


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    I agree with those of you who say "either it IS or it ISN'T" is totally right. Would you give your child just a "little" poison in their food? No! you don't want any poison in their food. Gluten is POISON for celiacs. I am still shocked that the NFCA has done this. I work for this company and would NOT endorse this product for any kind of gluten sensitivity. This risk is too great. If they are just doing the fad thing, fine, it's their bodies... but for the rest of us... we like ourselves and want to live healthy and gluten-free.

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    So glad I don't and can't rely on the government (lack of gluten-free standards) and other asundry agencies to tell what is 'safe' for me to eat. I am disappointed in Domino's, and even more disappointed in the NFCA.

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    Gluten-free must be reserved to food that is actually gluten-free. Domino's, try low gluten if you are not trying to mislead. Such a big disappointment. If you can't make gluten-free happen, save us all the time and get rid of your faulty ads.

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    Guest Lynn A. Reynolds

    Posted

    I love to see all the discussion on this topic. When I first saw the news report on this I was skeptical because I'm very sensitive to wheat and gluten. I wondered how they were going to put in new ovens and keep things away from those with gluten. I knew it was too good to be true. I'll stick with those items that I know are not going to cause me to have a reaction. They are also opening themselves up to a lawsuit if something should happen to someone eating something that is supposedly gluten free.

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    I emailed Domino's awhile ago wishing they would offer a gluten-free pizza, but this is a joke saying it's not for someone with celiac. I have to watch when I go to restaurants even getting a lemon wedge in my tea if the waitress doesn't pay attention then I get sick just from that. I won't be trying this pizza especially since it takes 21 days for your system to recover and absorb nutrients again. Not worth it for me.

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    I just finished sending an email to Domino's letting them know how I feel about their "gluten-free pizza ". I would encourage everyone who submitted a comment here to do the same. Let's keep them busy reading and answering questions about their newest business venture.

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    This is how they should do it if they were serious about offering gluten-free pizza -- from GarlicJims dot com, a west coast and Colorado pizza chain. They have the Gluten-Free Food Service Accreditation from the Gluten Intolerance Group.

     

    "We store our gluten-free (gluten-free) crusts in a separate place in our walk-in coolers and sauce them using dedicated spoodles (combination spoon/ladle) and dedicated sauce containers.

    We place a gluten-free crust on a dedicated gluten-free screen and use gluten-free peels and cutters to remove the pizza from the oven and cut it prior to delivery or pickup. We also use separate towels to clean our gluten-free pizza cutters to ensure that there is no cross-contamination.

     

    Further, we slap our regular pizzas in a gluten-free flour mix so all the flour flying around in our stores is actually gluten-free.

     

    Our staff is trained to wash their hands before beginning the preparation of a gluten-free pizza and to use special care not to bring the gluten-free crusts into contact with anything that might lead to cross-contamination."

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    How sad for all of us suffering from celiac disease. I feel this pizza is only out there for all of the people who want to be on a gluten-free diet to lose weight. Those who do not suffer as we do. They have no idea how hard it is to find good food when eating out. They just drive the cost of gluten-free foods up in our stores, because if you look at diet foods in our stores it is all ridiculously expensive. Those of you who do not suffer from celiac disease should walk in a celiac disease sufferers shoes for a week. Then maybe you would understand. Domino's needs to do a better job in their restaurants with this to truly say this pizza is gluten-free.

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    This issue leads me to ask about McDonald's in Finland. I was informed that because Finland has such a large portion (50%) that are celiac, McDonald's created a gluten-free bun. Just how gluten-free are these buns?

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    Wow. Also they aren't the 'first' pizza chain to come out with gluten-free pizza or (almost gluten-free pizza) Boston Pizza, Pizza Hotline, and Pizza Pizza all have had gluten-free crusts for well over a year now. But as with ANY pizza place there is always a possibility of cross contamination. To err is human. Just unfortunate that such an error can make us horribly sick.

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    Guest Janet Woodward

    Posted

    The whole point is that the coeliacs (sorry I am a Brit and spell like a Brit) is that it's misleading and so disappointing...

     

    End of term report card will read "must do better".

     

    Wellfoods of Barnsley in UK do supply gluten-free pizzas to several pizza houses so it can be done...

    You want the Brits to show you how it's done??

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    I am still glad that Domino's have made an attempt at trying for a gluten-free pizza. I'm still excited about it, maybe because I'm not a celiac. I do have a gluten intolerance so I can tolerate things like the Domino's gluten-free pizza. I wish Pizza Hut would do the same thing. At least they're trying.

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    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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