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Fourgifts

Pizza shop really safe?

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Yeah unless the whole place is gluten free it is not safe in most cases.
Points of CC come from the flour in the air (seen a pizza shop?), sauce spreading ladles, Cutters, Pans, digging into topping trays and getting them CCed, Gloves not changed, etc.
Sorta why the Gluten-Free pizza at pizza hut or domino's is not suggested for celiacs or those with a allergy.

Consider buying a gluten-free pizza or Pizza crust from a local store in the freezer section or ordering online and making them at home in your own dedicated oven and pizza pan.


Diagnosed Issues
Celiac (Gluten Ataxia, and Villi Damage dia. 2014, Villi mostly healed on gluten-free diet 2017 confirmed by scope)
Ulcerative Colitis (Dia, 2017), ADHD, Bipolar, Asperger Syndrome (form of autism)
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Olives (Seems to have resolved or gone mostly away as of Jan, 2017), Sesame (Gone away as of June 2017, still slight Nausea)
Enzyme issues with digesting some foods I have to take Pancreatic Enzymes Since mine does not work right, additional food prep steps also
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Occupation Gluten Free Bakery, Paleo Based Chef/Food Catering

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I never get pizza unless it is from a 100% Dedicated gluten-free restaurant.  Never.  Too much potential for cross contamination and the fact that wheat flour goes everywhere.    Best to make your own pizza at home or buy a frozen one and add additional toppings.  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

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I agree. When it comes to pizza and pasta places, there's flour in the air. There's just no escaping it, and the risk for cross contamination is very high. Even if they have dedicated pans, dedicated kitchen space, and clean the oven, there's no escaping the airborne flour. One average slice of bread has 3700 mg of gluten. Divided into 16 crouton size chunks, that's still 231 mg per crouton. You get the picture. Very small amounts can still contain LOTS of gluten.

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It depends a lot on the specific restaurant and sometimes which manager is on duty.  One near us has "gluten free" bread, but if you don't mention "allergy," they will just prep it in the main prep area and cook it on the same surface as all the other pizzas.  If you DO mention allergy, they prep it on another station and put it in the oven on foil and on a surface reserved for gluten free.  Out of about 8 times I've eaten there, I've been glutened once, and I'm pretty sure it's because I put in a web order instead of a phone call, and they didn't see the "allergy" note.  

Also, strongly recommend a nima tester.  I test every time now (just scrape some of the crust off plus a few random bits from the top - if there was flour in the air, it'll catch it).

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I'm well aware that it depends on the restaurant, and the employees as well. I'm not a new celiac. I've eaten at pizza and pasta places that state they have gluten free options and can accommodate celiac clients and have had reactions. I always i.d. myself as celiac/or gluten allergy, always. I am extremely well educated in this area.  I have had reactions even at pizza/pasta restaurants that have dedicated kitchen space. Again, I cannot state strongly enough that there will be flour in the air, period. Not all people with celiac can afford to purchase the Nima device, and I would hate for someone to think it's all okay just because there's dedicated kitchen space when it may not be safe.

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27 minutes ago, KKJ said:

I'm well aware that it depends on the restaurant, and the employees as well. I'm not a new celiac. I've eaten at pizza and pasta places that state they have gluten free options and can accommodate celiac clients and have had reactions. I always i.d. myself as celiac/or gluten allergy, always. I am extremely well educated in this area.  I have had reactions even at pizza/pasta restaurants that have dedicated kitchen space. Again, I cannot state strongly enough that there will be flour in the air, period. Not all people with celiac can afford to purchase the Nima device, and I would hate for someone to think it's all okay just because there's dedicated kitchen space when it may not be safe.

"Flour in the air period" is simply not true. It depends on exactly how they handle dough preparation and where.  A lot of pizza places (especially the fast causal sort) do dough prep in the morning, in a back room, and the handling/pizza construction occurs in a different customer-facing space. You can tell it is this sort of place when they have pre-made/proportioned dough where the customers are that they pull out a bin or from under the line and then ask you about each ingredient you want to add (i.e., a Chipotle-style restaurant).  At one of these places I used to frequent, the gluten free dough (frozen and pre-shaped) is delivered directly from a distributor and they are individually wrapped.  The gluten free dough never even touches the air in the store until just before toppings are added, and that's done at a gluten-free prep station where the ingredients are only used for gluten-free pizzas, and cooked on dedicated gluten-free baskets lined with aluminum foil on the opposite side of the oven from where other pizzas are cooked.  Some non-gluten-free restaurants really do it right.

The bottom line is that every restaurant handles this differently, and OP needs to investigate the chain of custody of that pizza and its ingredients.  If you can identify any contamination vectors, or if anyone handling the pizza at any stage doesn't seem knowledgeable about cross contamination, or if it's ever even carried through a general dough-mixing area, then don't eat there.  But there are definitely safe "no flour in the air" pizza restaurants out there.  Generally, the more of the prep and cooking process you can see from the lobby, the better.  

Just because a kid gets sick some time later after eating pizza doesn't automatically mean that gluten is the cause. If you assume that every time, you'll just end up crying into a bowl of carrots every night.

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Again, I'm well aware of what you're saying. This is not news to me, but I've spoken with many chefs at and managers of pizza restaurants, and my opinion, at the end of the day, is that they're simply riskier than restaurants where flour is not ' ever present.' Many times, this has also been the opinion of the chef or owner. Their comment? 'We take all the necessary precautions, but there's flour here, and although we try to avoid as much cross contamination as possible, we cannot guarantee it this setting'. That's been my experience and thus my take away. Do I eat out ? Yes, I do. Do I always speak with the manager or cook? You bet I do. Do I vet how and where they prepare the gluten-free food and where they store food? Absolutely. My concern here is for individuals new to their celiac diagnosis who may take gluten-free pasta and gluten-free pizza at face value. Not everyone knows to ask the questions you or I might ask. Perhaps through this conversation they will learn what to ask, when to be skeptical, and make their own decision. 

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1 minute ago, KKJ said:

Again, I'm well aware of what you're saying. This is not news to me, but I've spoken with many chefs at and managers of pizza restaurants, and my opinion, at the end of the day, is that they're simply riskier than restaurants where flour is not ' ever present.' Many times, this has also been the opinion of the chef or owner. Their comment? 'We take all the necessary precautions, but there's flour here, and although we try to avoid as much cross contamination as possible, we cannot guarantee it this setting'. That's been my experience and thus my take away. Do I eat out ? Yes, I do. Do I always speak with the manager or cook? You bet I do. Do I vet how and where they prepare the gluten-free food and where they store food? Absolutely. My concern here is for individuals new to their celiac diagnosis who may take gluten-free pasta and gluten-free pizza at face value. Not everyone knows to ask the questions you or I might ask. Perhaps through this conversation they will learn what to ask, when to be skeptical, and make their own decision. 

Let's hope!  I've noticed "we take precautions, but" has become the party line for every restaurant I've been to lately that previously had a gluten free menu (especially changing "gluten free" to "gluten friendly" on menus *gag*).  I just wouldn't also want people to completely swear off any restaurant upon discovering it uses wheat flour, since the ubiquity of wheat flour as a sauce thickener or meat-browning-aid means it is in virtually every restaurant that isn't strictly gluten-free (at least in the US).

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I like this debate.  

After being a member of this forum for over five years, diagnosed six years and having lived with a gluten free spouse for over 18 years, I have determined that each celiac is uniquely different.  Symptoms, concurrent illnesses, additional food intolerances or allergies all vary among members.  Celiacs and those with Non-Celiac Gluten sensitivity can tolerate about 20 ppm without triggering an autoimmune reaction.  Not always for those who have DH and who’s reaction is clearly visible on their skin.   20 ppm is safe for MOST celiacs, but not all.  Like global warming, scientists are still debating how much gluten a celiac can tolerate safely:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6363368/

I consider myself to be super sensitive.  My hubby is not.  As a result he takes more risks.  The consequences for him might be feeling ill for a week.  For me, it can be six months of misery as gluten exposures can cause the flaring of my other autoimmune disorders.  My last gluten exposure caused autoimmune hives that lasted for six months!  

Flour in the air is real.  You can swallow it.  It can stay in the air for hours.  And if you think kitchen staff are super clean, then you have never worked in a commercial kitchen.  The guy making the dough or chopping veggies is the lowest paid staff member (and you think they all wash their hands).  (I put myself through college by working in restaurants.)  Dough prepared in the back room has the same ventilation system.  This is what national celiac disease organizations have to say about flour in the air:

https://nationalceliac.org/blog/airborne-gluten/

https://www.beyondceliac.org/gluten-free-diet/cross-contact/

And this from Jane Anderson who has DH and is a reliable source.  

https://www.verywellhealth.com/suffering-symptoms-from-airborne-gluten-562332

And this little girl who breathed in gluten while living near wheat farms in Kansas.  

https://www.celiac.com/articles.html/girl-pens-book-about-her-journey-through-extreme-celiac-disease-r4639/

Eating out at restaurants must be an individual decision.  I encourage everyone to do research (i.e. read restaurant reviews made by celiacs), and use common sense.

I personally stand by my earlier statement.  I would never eat pizza from a non-dedicated gluten-free restaurant.  This works for me.   My last endoscopy revealed healthy villi!  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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A time years back I tried the shared kitchen seperated prep and pans etc. Once for pizza and another time a burger place that had reviews from other Celiac's . I had ataxia in my left arm very quickly after consuming. So unfortunately for me it would have to be a gluten-free only restaurant.

I am likely unable to eat at that type of restaurant either. I follow the advice of Ennis and Cycling lady to not eat out. Even if I find a completely gluten-free restaurant due to corn/corn dervatives/ cow milk/xanthum gum issues. I am unlikely to avoid all my  issues/additional intolerances.

I make pizza at home and in the past I found a gluten-free pizza at Costco that was an option for my kids/friends, now they just prefer the occasional homemade.

I am sorry she got sick. Regardless of which reason air borne flour, cc, a lapse in prep/ area etc. I found it's not worth the fall out. 

Best wishes on healing to her 

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On 9/26/2019 at 4:27 PM, Fourgifts said:

There is a shop with gluten free pizza advertised 

ehen I called I was told cooked on separate tray but same oveny daughter been sick 

i take it this would not be a good option but please confirm 

I too won't eat gluten free pizza out and the reason is that I'm sure there using the same ladel to spread the sauce on that they use for regular pizza that is my opinion of what is making it not gluten free I doubt that they have a separate pot of sauce with a separate ladel...

Edited by julie falco
missed spelled ladel

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On 9/26/2019 at 1:27 PM, Fourgifts said:

There is a shop with gluten free pizza advertised 

ehen I called I was told cooked on separate tray but same oveny daughter been sick 

i take it this would not be a good option but please confirm 

NO pizza place is gluten free for Celiacs!  They would have to have a huge exhaust fan over there non gluten prep areas.  A Celiac cannot be in a room where flour has been tossed for 2 hrs. Let alone have anything gluten free be handled by someone handling a gluten product nor have gluten free prepared on same surface as that which glutenous products are prepared on.

Never, is a pizza joint gluten free for a celiac!!! Just gluten free for gluten intolerant.

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There's a take and bake place in my town that has a separate station away from the rest of the food prep area for making their gluten-free pizza. I've eaten their pizza many times without reacting. 

I wouldn't eat at a dominos or pizza hut because they don't have a dedicated station for their gluten-free pizzas. Likewise I've eaten at Jersey Mikes's and Erberts & Gerberts sandwich shops, they also have dedicated stations for gluten-free sandwiches. 


Abdominal Pain/GI symptoms started= ~01/02/2014

Gallbladder out= 02/20/14

tTG IgA Postive= 03/21/14

DX via Biopsy (Marsh 3b)= 04/21/14

Celiac Antibodies within Normal range(Gluten free diet)= 10/23/2014

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The California Pizza Kitchen chain has certified gluten free pizza.  Their regular pizza crusts are not made at the individual restaurants, so there is no flour floating around.  The gluten-free pizzas are prepared and cut at dedicated stations. They are baked in the same oven, but on foil.

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4 hours ago, jobwabe said:

NO pizza place is gluten free for Celiacs!  They would have to have a huge exhaust fan over there non gluten prep areas.  A Celiac cannot be in a room where flour has been tossed for 2 hrs. Let alone have anything gluten free be handled by someone handling a gluten product nor have gluten free prepared on same surface as that which glutenous products are prepared on.

Never, is a pizza joint gluten free for a celiac!!! Just gluten free for gluten intolerant.

Wrong... I have celiac and frequent pizza places. Always have a salad or something like that. NEVER get sick

Stop speaking in absolutes when you have no clue what you are talking about. 

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2 hours ago, Big Dave Jenkins said:

Wrong... I have celiac and frequent pizza places. Always have a salad or something like that. NEVER get sick

Stop speaking in absolutes when you have no clue what you are talking about. 

Wow!  A first time poster and you really have to go on the attack?  

Did you read my earlier post on this subject?  Some celiacs are more sensitive than others and flour in the air is a real thing (read my links).  But it does sound like you only get salads and not gluten free pizza at pizza joints.  Is that correct?  

Many celiacs are asymptomatic.  Symptoms can wax and wane.  How do you know that you are not getting sick?  Have you had follow-up testing?  A repeat biopsy?  How do we know that you “have a clue”?  Just your personal opinion?  

As I said before, I like this debate.  ?

Just something to think about.  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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Just because of this issue, many places around us call themselves gluten-friendly. They basically admit that even if they use gluten-free ingredients, they can not guarantee that there is no chance of cross-contamination. Realistically, it is quite expensive not only to build a completely gluten-free setup in a restaurant that also serves gluten but the staff training has to be very rigorous. As cyclinglady said, for some that's good enough and for some that's not. We know that for some contamination of lower than 200pm is adequate and for some it has to be lower than 5ppm. 

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2 hours ago, Big Dave Jenkins said:

Wrong... I have celiac and frequent pizza places. Always have a salad or something like that. NEVER get sick

Stop speaking in absolutes when you have no clue what you are talking about. 

Sorry,but many celiacs don't necessarily know when gluten has entered their blood stream, correct?  I.e.  Consider the undiagnosed celiacs who become Diabetic, Asthmatic, etc. who never otherwise showed classic symptoms.  C'mon, think a little. That doesn't mean that their bodies haven't been violated, at all.  The older a Celiac gets, the less able his/her body gets in defending the violations. He doesn't become "more sensitive"...he doesn't turn into a different celiac person.  His body just isn't as viable as it used to be.  My cousin owned and managed  a top end pizza joint who served a "gluten free pizza".   He got calls from violated customers on pizzas he personally prepared, sooooo. Individual sensitivities should be correctly defined.  Do you define it as  "Oh, I feel a reaction"?  Not a very good method at all.  I am guessing that you are younger.  I am not.  Whereas I rarely if ever noted light violations at all when young.   As I aged I got more and more blatant skin and nervous system indicators on even the slightest violations. Just recently violated on Walmart brand gluten free mac and cheese which in fine print said processed in a facility which processes wheat.  Think airborne and surface contamination.  I highly suggest you change your protection practices.  I'm real proud o ya that you didn't feel sick on yor salad but you are functionally letting your body down.  The correct process is far more valuable than any given hopeful salad situation and yourprocess will eventually catch up with you, I'm sorry to say that your ignorance will cost you and others who will read your post. So why doncha just back up your truck an park it in th garage where it belongs

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3 hours ago, RMJ said:

The California Pizza Kitchen chain has certified gluten free pizza.  Their regular pizza crusts are not made at the individual restaurants, so there is no flour floating around.  The gluten-free pizzas are prepared and cut at dedicated stations. They are baked in the same oven, but on foil.

...As were my Cousins' personally prepared pizzas that he sold to repeatedly violating customers.  I'm wondering out load why managers of pizza parlors don't purchase the new gluten test machines to occasionally test these pizzas.  If they did and was able to state that they never got a positive result for gluten to inquiring celiacs, boy, I would rush your parlors in a frenzy!  I would be convinced at that point only.  It could be that your pizza place isn't visited by educated celiacs and therefore don't call in the violations.  We don't know that either.  But then I'm not sure if Cuz's parlor didn't toss their crusts or indeed did.  Could that be the difference?  My Cuz tried real hard to properly prepare for his Celiacs but was unable.  He would thereafter dissuade any Celiacs but prepare pizzas for the gluten intolerent.  He felt real bad. Are all your toppings on your regular pizzas certified gluten-free?  Do those same toppings go on the gluten free crust?

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5 hours ago, Fenrir said:

There's a take and bake place in my town that has a separate station away from the rest of the food prep area for making their gluten-free pizza. I've eaten their pizza many times without reacting. 

I wouldn't eat at a dominos or pizza hut because they don't have a dedicated station for their gluten-free pizzas. Likewise I've eaten at Jersey Mikes's and Erberts & Gerberts sandwich shops, they also have dedicated stations for gluten-free sandwiches. 

Hi Fenrir, I'd love to hear more chime in on these shops with dedicated areas and any violations thereof.  I just can't risk it anymore as my reactions have become very serious with age.  Thanks for the post.

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7 minutes ago, jobwabe said:

I'm wondering out load why managers of pizza parlors don't purchase the new gluten test machines to occasionally test these pizzas.  If they did and was able to state that they never got a positive result for gluten to inquiring celiacs, boy, I would rush your parlors in a frenzy!  I would be convinced at that point only. 

The California Pizza Kitchen procedures have been evaluated and the pizzas tested by the certifying organization.  Pizzas have also been tested by the Gluten Free Watchdog.  If any customer feels “violated” they can report it not just to the restaurant but also to the certifying organization (GIG) who takes complaints very seriously (I had to complain once about a different type of restaurant that they certify).

If you’re not comfortable with that, don’t eat there.

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11 hours ago, jobwabe said:

Hi Fenrir, I'd love to hear more chime in on these shops with dedicated areas and any violations thereof.  I just can't risk it anymore as my reactions have become very serious with age.  Thanks for the post.

Not sure what else you want to know. Dedicated stations are about as good as you'll get in most areas, there are very few gluten-free Certified restaurants around. A separate station should minimize cross contamination as much as you can without being totally gluten free in the whole restaurant. The three shops I mentioned all have a separate station that's only used for gluten-free pizza/sandwiches that are stocked with ingredients only used at that station and employees change gloves and wash hands before they work at the station. It's not 100% guaranteed to be free of cross contamination but I live in a home where I'm the only gluten-free person as well. It's not a gluten-free house. I have been accidentally exposed at home before, it can happen.

I do think sometimes people go way overboard on this. Most places that make gluten-free make it from a frozen gluten-free crust that's sealed in plastic before they use it.  There's not enough flour floating in the air to cause a celiac to react in the few minutes the pizza is being prepared. We don't have an allergy to wheat, if you do this would be a problem. Celiac disease isn't an allergy. Yes, there may be varying levels of gluten that will cause individuals to react but there'd have to be an awful lot of flour floating the air to cause a celiac to react in the 5 minutes the crust is out in the open. 

Like I said, you should only eat at places with dedicated work stations, there's legitimately enough flour on the regular stations to cause a reaction but otherwise most people shouldn't react to dedicated station setups. However, if you are having continued issues I would avoid eating out altogether. Stick to eating meat, veggies and fruit and that's it. Do that for a while then start adding foods back in. 


Abdominal Pain/GI symptoms started= ~01/02/2014

Gallbladder out= 02/20/14

tTG IgA Postive= 03/21/14

DX via Biopsy (Marsh 3b)= 04/21/14

Celiac Antibodies within Normal range(Gluten free diet)= 10/23/2014

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This discussion points out to me that most likely there will be two types of restaurants emerging. One type that will be completely gluten-free and one type that will serve gluten and taking as much precautions as it makes financial sense given the high cost. Of course even under the most careful circumstances, mistakes will happen in particular since restaurant workers have a high turnover and are not exactly the highest trained and paid people. Consumers will then have to choose if these precautions are good enough or not. I think that it is unreasonable to hold all restaurants to the strictest standards because that would become cost-prohibitive for some places and from what I understand from friends of mine in the industry, the profit margin is not that high in many places. 

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